16 August - 4 September 2012
about the exhibition
Drawn to materials that are weathered and worn, Canberra artist Alex Asch reinterprets found objects in the construction of his unique sculptures. His found, disregarded materials are marked by the elements of nature and use, revealing a story of their past lives. The remnants of painted surfaces and the scars left by rusty nails remind the viewer of the history of the materials that are reincarnated and given a new life. Alex is particularly fond of using old painted boards that he describes as having been “ripped from their resting places and thrown in piles like amputated limbs”, likening the nails to “twisted and hardened arteries”. The title of this exhibition, “façade”, can be applied in both the physical and figurative sense, challenging how pre-concieved ideas are formed from first impressions. In the same way that a human face can conceal a different reality, the doors and windows of Alex’s sculptures reveal only glimpses of the strange tableaux within, leaving us to question what is happening. These interior scenarios have been collaged from a combination of found objects, figurines, maps and currency as well as imagery from the exterior landscape. In the centrepiece of the show, a cavalcade of black spray-painted plastic, glass and metal Jesus figurines have been placed atop toy vehicles, creating an unusual cavalcade crawling towards a destination unknown. With elements gleaned from junk shops, flea markets and garage sales, Alex has created a major work that is both unexpected and humorous.
Alex Asch was born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1965 and moved to Australia in 1988 to study visual arts at the Canberra School of Art. Since the 1990s Alex has worked as a technical assistant to a number of arts organisations around Canberra as well as teaching visual arts for the Messengers Arts Program (ACT). He was awarded the Rosalie Gascoigne Memorial award by the Capital Arts Patrons Organisation (CAPO) in 2008 and has been a finalist in Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Alex has participated in over thirty solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and his work is included in the collections of Artbank, the ACT Legislative Assembly and the Canberra Museum and Gallery, as well as corporate and private collections in Australia, USA, UK, Denmark and the Netherlands.