Based in Los Angeles, Alex Israel engages with the particular culture of the local film and media industries. Mining the “food chain” of show business, he interrogates and confounds the fine line between “talent” and “raw material” while reframing and re-presenting manufactured items whose formal and auratic properties are often overlooked. For Israel, the American Dream, as embodied by the Los Angeles mythos, remains affecting and potent. Channeling celebrity culture as well as the slick appearance and aspirations of the entertainment capital, Israel approaches his hometown with an uncanny coupling of local familiarity and anthropological curiosity. His work alludes to both California cool and calculated brand creation, embracing clichés and styles that exude the hygienic optimism endemic to the local scene.
Israel was born in 1982 in Los Angeles. He received a BA in 2003 from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, and an MFA in 2010 from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Israel’s works are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City (2012); Alex Israel: Lens, LA><ART, Los Angeles (2013); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2013); Alex Israel at The Huntington, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California (2015); Sightings: Alex Israel, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2015–16); #AlexIsrael, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2016); Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings, Jewish Museum, New York (2016–17); SPF-18, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2018); and Waves, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria (2018).
Israel lives and works in Los Angeles.
Always On My Mind
January 16–March 14, 2020
Grosvenor Hill, London
May 24–August 11, 2018
Close at Hand
Modern and Contemporary Sculpture
January 9–February 24, 2018
October 26–December 16, 2017
West 24th Street, New York
Alex Israel | Bret Easton Ellis
February 3–March 18, 2017
Davies Street, London
Alex Israel | Bret Easton Ellis
February 25–April 23, 2016
Beverly Hills 20-Year Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, 1995–2015
October 30–December 19, 2015
Works from 1929 to 2015
June 11–August 1, 2015
Britannia Street, London
Alex Israel: New Waves
An animated, short video by Alex Israel takes viewers on a visual journey through the ideas and imagery behind his latest exhibition in Hong Kong.
Alex Israel and Venus Lau
Alex Israel speaks with curator and writer Venus Lau about New Waves, his latest exhibition in Hong Kong. Israel reveals his spirit animal, discusses his love of Duchamp, and tells Lau about the process behind his newest works.
Alex Israel discusses his feature-length film with Derek Blasberg.
Alex Israel / Bret Easton Ellis
Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews the artist and writer about their recent collaboration.
Diana Widmaier Picasso, curator of the exhibition Desire, reflects on the history of eroticism in art.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2019
December 5–8, 2019, booth D7
Miami Beach Convention Center
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 with modern and contemporary artworks by Richard Avedon, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, John Chamberlain, John Currin, Edmund de Waal, Rachel Feinstein, Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jennifer Guidi, Simon Hantaï, Damien Hirst, Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis, Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Peter Marino, Adam McEwen, Joan Mitchell, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Steven Parrino, Pablo Picasso, Rudolf Polanszky, Richard Prince, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, Jonas Wood, Christopher Wool, and Zao Wou-Ki, among others.
Tom Wesselmann, Sunset Nude with Wesselmann Still Life, 2004 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York
Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market 2019
November 1–3, 2019, table A04
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Gagosian is pleased to participate in the Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market, organized by a collective of Los Angeles–based independent art book publishers. A platform and marketplace for art books, the three-day event is focused on creating a space for meaningful and sustained conversations around art publishing. In addition to offering an assortment of catalogues associated with Los Angeles, the gallery will be celebrating the release of Piero Manzoni: An Artist’s Life, a biography of the Italian conceptual artist.
Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market
Alex Israel, Bettina Korek, Hans Ulrich Obrist
July 29–August 2, 2019, 10am–3pm
Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, Colorado
Alex Israel, Bettina Korek, and Hans Ulrich Obrist will host a five-day seminar for practicing artists at Anderson Ranch. Through lectures, discussions, readings, and critiques, the trio will guide artists deeper into the concepts behind their work and their agency in the art world.
Bettina Korek, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Alex Israel
Closing this Week
Feel the Sun in Your Mouth
Through February 2, 2020
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
This exhibition brings together artworks acquired by the museum over the past five years with a focus on art that incites sensation and demonstrates a renewed interest in sublime encounters with the world. Spanning a period of extreme technological growth that has led us from the first steps on the moon to the development of the Internet, this exhibition illuminates a return to the poetic, the intuitive, and the cosmic in current artistic practice. Work by Alex Israel, Tatiana Trouvé, and Mary Weatherford is included.
Tatiana Trouvé, Les indéfinis, 2014 (detail) © Tatiana Trouvé. Photo: Annette Kradisch
Art and the Studio System
Through March 1, 2020
Yuz Museum, Shanghai
In Production: Art and the Studio System emphasizes the overlapping histories of visual art and film, with a particular focus on how the site of the studio, both in visual arts and in cinematic production, has radically shifted in the last twenty years. The exhibition highlights the exceptional gifts and acquisitions related to film and video that have entered the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent collection in recent years including work by Piero Golia, Douglas Gordon, Alex Israel, and Mike Kelley.
Douglas Gordon, Déjà-Vu, 2000 , installation view, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles. Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019 . D.O.A., 1950, USA. Directed by Rudolph Maté. Produced by Joseph H. Nadel, Harry M. Popkin, and Leo C. Popkin. Distributed by United Artists © Cardinal Pictures. Photo: Brian Forrest
June 8–August 31, 2019
MAMO–Marseille Modulor, France
Alex Israel at MAMO occupies the rooftop deck and former gymnasium of Le Corbusier’s iconic Cité Radieuse. Inspired by Marseille’s gritty history and the architect’s use of concrete, Alex Israel has reimagined the building as Gotham City, and as a temporary home for two new works appropriated from Tim Burton’s Batman (1989). Continuing the artist’s ongoing exploration of rented film props as readymade sculpture, the Batmobile serves as the centerpiece of an installation with smoke, light, and sound, while the Bat-Signal, projected high above the city, activates the night sky throughout the summer.
Installation view, Alex Israel, MAMO–Marseille Modulor, France, June 8–August 31, 2019. Artwork © Alex Israel
Alex Israel × Snapchat
June 17–21, 2019
Le Centre d’art La Malmaison, Cannes, France
Invited to collaborate with Snap’s advanced augmented reality (AR) team, Alex Israel has expanded his multidisciplinary practice through the creation of five new experiences, each linked to one of his Self-Portrait paintings. These five “Snap-Portraits,” unleashed in the user’s smartphone, overlay Snap’s groundbreaking AR onto Israel’s physical works to give viewers an entirely new experience of painting.
© Alex Israel