Alexander Herzog

Region: Midwest


City / State: Whitefish Bay, WI

The impetus for this new series of paintings came from a simple, repetitive, and explosive action that I discovered the year I worked in a professional kitchen in the much-dreaded, but perhaps most coveted, position of dish-washer. I began to think of the painting as a literal surface to be wiped, which became, in painting’s language, “the gesture.”

Building up the surface with thick layers of wet gesso on board, I trace the gestures I have worked out in my mind. During the days it takes to dry, I sit with it and just look. Coming back with enamel and oil paints, I wilt or amp up elements from the gesture, taking away and adding depth, intensity, tone, and forms. Recently, I have been adding color to the layers.

I work within the modernist principles of figure/ground, flatness, the object/window picture plane, and elements of visual form. Labor-intensive, my painting practice fulfills my need for discovery, chance, and inspirational highs balanced with order, discipline, satisfying routine, and commitment.