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Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait, 2013 Sunset Strip billboard, Los Angeles© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait, 2013

Sunset Strip billboard, Los Angeles
© Alex Israel

Installation view, Alex Israel, Peres Projects, Berlin, 2011 Artwork © Alex Israel

Installation view, Alex Israel, Peres Projects, Berlin, 2011

Artwork © Alex Israel

Alex Israel, As It Lays, 2012 Mixed media, including flats, stage, Sky Backdrop painting, and sign, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesInstallation view, Le Consortium, Dijon, France, 2013© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, As It Lays, 2012

Mixed media, including flats, stage, Sky Backdrop painting, and sign, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Installation view, Le Consortium, Dijon, France, 2013
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Easter Island Venice Beach, 2012 Rented cinema props, overall dimensions variableInstallation view, Venice Beach Biennial, presented by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Easter Island Venice Beach, 2012

Rented cinema props, overall dimensions variable
Installation view, Venice Beach Biennial, presented by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, The Bigg Chill, 2012–13 Marble and Styrofoam cup, 5 × 3 ½ × 3 ½ inches (12.7 × 8.9 × 8.9 cm), edition of 20© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, The Bigg Chill, 2012–13

Marble and Styrofoam cup, 5 × 3 ½ × 3 ½ inches (12.7 × 8.9 × 8.9 cm), edition of 20
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Sky Backdrop, 2013 Acrylic on canvas, 108 × 192 × 4 inches (274.3 × 487.7 × 10.2 cm), Museum of Modern Art, New York© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Sky Backdrop, 2013

Acrylic on canvas, 108 × 192 × 4 inches (274.3 × 487.7 × 10.2 cm), Museum of Modern Art, New York
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Valet Parking, 2013 (detail) Site-specific mural, Le Consortium, Dijon, France© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Valet Parking, 2013 (detail)

Site-specific mural, Le Consortium, Dijon, France
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Lens, 2013 UV protective plastic lens, 96 × 84 × 14 ⅛ inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 35.9 cm), Centre Pompidou, Paris© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Lens, 2013

UV protective plastic lens, 96 × 84 × 14 ⅛ inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 35.9 cm), Centre Pompidou, Paris
© Alex Israel

Works from Alex Israel’s Self-Portrait series Installation view, Isbrytaren, Stockholm, 2013Artwork © Alex Israel

Works from Alex Israel’s Self-Portrait series

Installation view, Isbrytaren, Stockholm, 2013
Artwork © Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Maltese Falcon, 2013 Cast bronze with black patina, 10 ½ × 4 ½ × 3 ½ inches (26.7 × 11.4 × 8.9 cm), edition of 20© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Maltese Falcon, 2013

Cast bronze with black patina, 10 ½ × 4 ½ × 3 ½ inches (26.7 × 11.4 × 8.9 cm), edition of 20
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Selfie and Studio Floor), 2014 Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm), The Broad, Los Angeles© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Selfie and Studio Floor), 2014

Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm), The Broad, Los Angeles
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Untitled (Flats), 2014–15 Acrylic and stucco on aluminum, in 3 parts, left and right, each: 84 × 30 inches (213.4 × 76.2 cm), center: 96 × 60 inches (243.8 × 152.4 cm), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Untitled (Flats), 2014–15

Acrylic and stucco on aluminum, in 3 parts, left and right, each: 84 × 30 inches (213.4 × 76.2 cm), center: 96 × 60 inches (243.8 × 152.4 cm), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Wetsuit), 2015 Acrylic on aluminum, 79 ½ × 28 × 22 inches (201.9 × 71.1 × 55.9 cm), Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Wetsuit), 2015

Acrylic on aluminum, 79 ½ × 28 × 22 inches (201.9 × 71.1 × 55.9 cm), Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Desperado, 2015 Acrylic on bronze, 10 × 14 × 9 ½ inches (25.4 × 35.6 × 24.1 cm), edition of 8© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Desperado, 2015

Acrylic on bronze, 10 × 14 × 9 ½ inches (25.4 × 35.6 × 24.1 cm), edition of 8
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Sunset Strip), 2016 Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm)© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Sunset Strip), 2016

Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm)
© Alex Israel

Installation view, Alex Israel | Bret Easton Ellis, Gagosian, Beverly Hills, 2016 Artwork © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view, Alex Israel | Bret Easton Ellis, Gagosian, Beverly Hills, 2016

Artwork © Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis. Photo: Jeff McLane

Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis, Different Kind of Star, 2016 Acrylic and UV ink on canvas, 84 × 168 inches (213.4 × 426.7 cm)© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis

Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis, Different Kind of Star, 2016

Acrylic and UV ink on canvas, 84 × 168 inches (213.4 × 426.7 cm)
© Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis

Alex Israel, Sky Backdrop Mural, 2016 Site-specific mural, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Sky Backdrop Mural, 2016

Site-specific mural, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Pelican, 2017 Acrylic on fiberglass, stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic, 15 × 80 × 46 ⅞ inches (37.9 × 203 × 119.1 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Pelican, 2017

Acrylic on fiberglass, stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic, 15 × 80 × 46 ⅞ inches (37.9 × 203 × 119.1 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Three Surfers), 2017 Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Three Surfers), 2017

Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
© Alex Israel

Poster for Alex Israel’s feature film SPF-18 (2017) Artwork © Alex Israel

Poster for Alex Israel’s feature film SPF-18 (2017)

Artwork © Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Wave, 2018 Acrylic on fiberglass, 96 ½ × 96 ½ inches (245.1 × 245.1 cm), Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Wave, 2018

Acrylic on fiberglass, 96 ½ × 96 ½ inches (245.1 × 245.1 cm), Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Arcade), 2018–19 Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm)© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Arcade), 2018–19

Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm)
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Solo, 2019 Holographic video installation, overall dimensions variableInstallation view, Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Solo, 2019

Holographic video installation, overall dimensions variable
Installation view, Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Bat-Signal, 2019 Rented WWII-era spotlight modified with Batman logo, dimensions variableInstallation view, MAMO–Marseille Modulor, France© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Bat-Signal, 2019

Rented WWII-era spotlight modified with Batman logo, dimensions variable
Installation view, MAMO–Marseille Modulor, France
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Pelican with Fish), 2019 Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass with Snapchat augmented reality Lens, dimensions variable© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self-Portrait (Pelican with Fish), 2019

Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass with Snapchat augmented reality Lens, dimensions variable
© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self Portrait (Enchanted Forest), 2020 Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm)© Alex Israel

Alex Israel, Self Portrait (Enchanted Forest), 2020

Acrylic and Bondo on fiberglass, 96 × 84 × 4 inches (243.8 × 213.4 × 10.2 cm)
© Alex Israel

About

Alex Israel explores and embraces pop culture as a global visual language. Deeply entwined with his hometown of Los Angeles, he traffics in the detritus of Hollywood film production—backdrops, sets, and props—while also inhabiting the roles of filmmaker, talk-show host, designer, and hologram. Israel’s art practice doubles as a brand, centered around a Southern Californian millennial lifestyle for which his iconic profile-in-shades Self-Portrait functions as a logo, mobilized across high-visibility platforms in the worlds of art, entertainment, fashion, and tech. Embedded within each of Israel’s endeavors are not only a landscape (of LA) and a portrait (of himself), but a savvy meditation on a world fueled by celebrity, product placement, and online influence.

Israel received a BA from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, in 2003, and an MFA from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, in 2010. The following year, he began producing works at the Warner Bros. Design Studio in Burbank, California. These include Flats, a series of shaped panels airbrushed to suggest the distinctive gradients of LA sunsets, and Sky Backdrops, ethereal canvases depicting cloudy skies streaked with pink, blue, and orange. These series were born out of the set of As It Lays, a DIY talk show in which a deadpan Israel interviews celebrities about their everyday lives and routines as a form of portraiture. Israel’s Self-Portrait series began life as the show’s Hitchcock-inspired logo, evolving into color-block paintings on fiberglass panels, and ultimately into larger photorealistic paintings that feature the LA landscape, reflections on its culture industry, and clues to the artist’s process.

For Property, Israel’s first purely sculptural project, which he began as a student, he enlisted rented movie studio props as “inanimate actors” to perform the roles of various readymades in the gallery. Inversely, he will on occasion manufacture a seamless movie prop replica, transforming a silver-screen memory into a physical multiple. His Lenses, a series of high-gloss, massively scaled-up UV-protective plastic sunglass lenses, references 1960s California Finish Fetish sculpture and the artist’s own Freeway Eyewear brand. Self-Portrait (Wetsuits) are hollow cast aluminum figures that draw on classical antiquity, custom surf gear, and the artist’s feature-length take on the teen surf drama, SPF-18 (2017), which is available for streaming on Netflix and iTunes. Israel’s Waves, painting reliefs that turn the image of a cresting tide into yet another stylized logo, also have their origins in this film.

In 2016 and 2017, Israel’s collaboration with novelist Bret Easton Ellis resulted in two exhibitions of text paintings. Artist and author share a fascination with LA as both background and subject, and in their coproduced works reflect on the city’s mythos by setting Ellis’s short texts against Israel’s stock backdrops. Occupying the spaces of pop culture and media, Israel’s collaborations with Ellis, Louis Vuitton, Rimowa, and Snapchat—along with his own Infrathin Apparel clothing line and his embrace of mass platforms such as Netflix and YouTube—allow his work to engage directly with the mainstream, to glide across surfaces, from limited-edition consumer products to teenagers’ smartphone screens, moving through our thoughts, algorithms, and clouds.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Georg Baselitz, Noch ein Orangenesser, 2020 © Georg Baselitz

Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong 2021

May 21–23, 2021, booth 1d30
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong with a presentation of modern and contemporary painting and sculpture by gallery artists. New paintings by Georg BaselitzAlex IsraelEd Ruscha, and Sarah Sze are featured alongside exceptional works in a range of mediums by Louise BonnetTheaster GatesHenry MooreNam June Paik, and others, uncovering formal and conceptual innovations and associations that span genres and aesthetic approaches.

Georg Baselitz, Noch ein Orangenesser, 2020 © Georg Baselitz

Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Capri 53.57), 2020 © Mark Grotjahn

Support

The Kitchen
Ice and Fire: A Benefit Exhibition in Three Parts

October 15, 2020–March 23, 2021

The benefit exhibition Ice and Fire features works by more than forty artists who have enduring relationships with the Kitchen in New York. Installed within the organization’s three-story space in Chelsea, which is currently closed due to the global pandemic, the three-part exhibition is viewable online. Proceeds from sales will go toward a planned renovation on the occasion of the Kitchen’s fiftieth anniversary, ensuring that the nonprofit space will remain a platform for artistic experimentation in its historic and beloved building. Work by Cecily Brown, Roe Ethridge, Mark Grotjahn, Alex Israel, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon, Mary Weatherford, and Christopher Wool is included.

Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Capri 53.57), 2020 © Mark Grotjahn

Katharina Grosse, Shake Before Using, 2020 © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany 2020

Fundraiser

Artist Plate Project 2020
Coalition for the Homeless

November 16–December 14, 2020

Gagosian is pleased to support the Coalition for the Homeless’s Artist Plate Project fundraiser. Artwork by fifty artists, including Cecily Brown, Katharina Grosse, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Sarah Sze, Andy Warhol, Jonas Wood, and Christopher Wool, is featured on limited-edition dinner plates produced by Prospect and made available through Artware Editions to support the Coalition’s lifesaving programs. All of the funds raised by the sale of the plates will provide food, crisis services, housing, and other critical aid to thousands of people experiencing homelessness and instability. The purchase of one plate can feed seventy-five homeless and hungry New Yorkers.

Katharina Grosse, Shake Before Using, 2020 © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany 2020

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Museum Exhibitions

Jonas Wood, Four Majors, 2018, Installation view, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis, June 3–November 12, 2021. Artwork © Jonas Wood. Photo: Cleber Bonato

On View

Wayne Thiebaud Influencer
A New Generation

Through November 12, 2021
Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis
manettishremmuseum.ucdavis.edu

On the occasion of his 100th birthday, this exhibition explores the profound influence that Wayne Thiebaud, longtime UC Davis art professor, has had on subsequent generations of artists, including both fellow painters and his former students. Pairings explore how Thiebaud forecast the future of painting through his personal journey to find meaning and reinvention in the medium’s history. Work by Alex Israel and Jonas Wood is included.

Jonas Wood, Four Majors, 2018, Installation view, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis, June 3–November 12, 2021. Artwork © Jonas Wood. Photo: Cleber Bonato

Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (After Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun), 2020 © Ewa Juszkiewicz

On View

Face à Arcimboldo

Through November 22, 2021
Centre Pompidou-Metz, France
www.centrepompidou-metz.fr

This exhibition, whose title translates to Arcimboldo Face to Face, invites visitors to explore the timeless vocabulary of the sixteenth-century painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo (c. 1527–1593). The show demonstrates how his work has influenced art history for more than four centuries through the work of 130 artists, including work by Francis Bacon, Glenn Brown, Alex Israel, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, and Ed Ruscha.

Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (After Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun), 2020 © Ewa Juszkiewicz

Douglas Gordon, Déjà-Vu, 2000
, installation view, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles. Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020
. 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
 

Closed

In Production
Art and the Studio System

November 7, 2019–March 1, 2020
Yuz Museum, Shanghai
www.yuzmshanghai.org

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 2020
. 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
 

Mary Weatherford, Engine, 2014, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC © Mary Weatherford

Closed

Feel the Sun in Your Mouth
Recent Acquisitions

August 24, 2019–February 2, 2020
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
hirshhorn.si.edu

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.

Mary Weatherford, Engine, 2014, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC © Mary Weatherford

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Press

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