Alexa Grande Kaplan Projects
June 2023

Our environment is made up of structures that take us in and organize our world. From the most emphatic and obvious, such as the architecture proposed for our use, to the most abstract, such as the behaviors and dogmas that define our society. All of them keep us in a known stability. They forge the borders between the possible dangers of the world and our well-being, making us believe that our security is guaranteed. Often, the possibility of breaking these systems gives us an overwhelming fear of the unknown, ruling out that its change can lead to a revelation, an improvement. For this reason, almost involuntarily, we adapt to the oscillations and events of life, just as a building adapts the vibrations of its construction to external forces.

The epicenter of the new project by Alexa Grande (Madrid, 1986) is the reflection on the oscillations and balances of life experience. Grande’ solo exhibition is called Isoropia (ισορροπία), a Greek term that means balance.

The equilibrium state is given when a series of repeated oscillations of the same magnitude reaches a constant around an invariable point. The minimum modification of one of these forces will be enough to modify the state of rest, beginning the search for a new stability or, on the opposite, giving way to the catastrophe.

In this project, Alexa Grande contemplates her recent experiences, reflecting on the oscillations that can occur along the path of lifetime. During the process, the artist wonders if it is possible to reach the balance, often as desired, during the constant fortuitous changes, those that frequently shake our pathos.
For Grande, painting is a tool through which to find balance within the chaos. The artist obtains answers through the reflective process of painting.

From the most primitive state of her work in the preparation of the linen, to the application of each of the materials. The artist begins an intuitive path, trying to capture her experiences through colors and shapes. The oil technique allows to create layers and glazes, applied in a slow and meticulous process. The final result reveals all the pictorial layers of the work, which in turn represent the phases of the meditative process. Thus, Alexa Grande’s paintings contain great visual depth, while reflective and autobiographical. In the last image of the work, elements such as light and movement created from vivid brushstrokes and primary colors create an atmosphere where the ruins of indecipherable structures can be seen. Moving away from what they could have been, their new condition turns them into organic entities, belonging to a place where there is no authority, where they are free from pre-established and static norms. Her paintings thus become openings through which to discover a new reality.

Often, many of these structural elements such as bars, reinforcement or glass can be found in lots and waste-grounds where they find their end, becoming part of the urban landscape. For the artist, these non-places can be places of maximum freedom, where imagination, fear or passions are forged like metals. If nothing exists, everything could exist. The emptiness of the place is revealing.
Claiming the strangeness that characterizes these locations, “Sound wasteland” is the title of the installation that Alexa Grande has developed together with the musician and composer Mark Matthes. Each of the parts that make up the installation vibrates at its own frequency through a complex mechanism created ad hoc for the work. As if it were a living entity, the presence and movements of the visitor provoke the sound reaction of the sculpture, generating rhythmic patterns that can even create melodies. Thus, the corrugated reinforced structure becomes a vibrant instrument, giving a three-dimensional dimension to the structures represented on the canvases. The aesthetic delicacy of “Descampado sonoro” harmonizes with its own sound, a vibration in which we are participants. A tiny oscillation generates a beautiful resonance, which could cause its destruction at a high level of intensity.

Based on painting and installation, the exhibition Isoropía represents the power of the oscillations of our lives, those forces that corrupt our calm, change us and, in turn, make us advance along the winding path that is our own existence. Alexa Grande poses the eternal question: is it possible to achieve balance within chaos? Without having found the answer yet, her creations reflect the vibrations and forces around us. As if he wanted, through art, to reveal the extraordinary in invisible things.

Text by Belén Martínez