Artist Alexander Yulish Tells Us About the Works that Inspire Him

by Amy Marie Slocum

Saturday, May 13th, Ace Gallery will present Alexander Yulish's newest exhibition Out of Order. 

Yulish studied fine art at Connecticut College, and lives and works in New York and Los Angeles. His new paintings purposefully contravene one of contemporary abstraction’s unwritten cardinal rules: the necessity of a dissolution of any sense of consistent, relation of perspective between surface elements traditionally designated as figure and ground.

By elaborating his perspectival schema as the index of figuration in his work, Yulish is free to render a more extreme degree of abstraction because the latter occurs within a structure associated with figuration, rather than by means of treatments of line and color that are figurative in fact, even if they might not seem it.

The effect of this strategy is to occupy the gaze for a much more sustained period before it ultimately perceives the figurative forms that integrate his overt abstraction. This “delayed reaction” of consecutive rather than unitary or simultaneous perceptions not only gives rise to an artist-contrived temporal dynamic in the reception of the work; it also generates a tension between two distinct kinds of seeing embedded within each other: the actual and the potential.

Because it is almost invariably the case in reality that we tend to perceive the actual before the potential, and not vice versa, the title Out of Order refers to this tension.

Out of Order will open with a reception from 6-9PM on May 13TH. 

Read on for three works from the artistic canon that inspire him. 

Egon Schiele. “Self portrait with orange jacket” (1913). Watercolour, gouache and pencil on paper. 48.3 × 31.7 cm.

Egon Schiele. “Self portrait with orange jacket” (1913). Watercolour, gouache and pencil on paper. 48.3 × 31.7 cm.

"Egon Schiele was one of the first artists I gravitated towards and who inspired me. It was an immediate attraction.  The work has such a raw intensity and sexuality that really resonates with me.  At times, they are very uncomfortable to look at, but it's the   discomfort that draws me to it at the same time. The twisted body shapes and the expressive lines that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings are so emotional and raw. I love the orange that engulfs this figure. It's such an uncomfortable and riveting color. It reminds me of what it feels like to be a human being."

Jackson Pollock. "Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)" (1950). Enamel on canvas. 105 x 207 in. 

Jackson Pollock. "Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)" (1950). Enamel on canvas. 105 x 207 in. 

"Jackson Pollock rocked my world from the moment I was introduced to his work. This is one of my favorites by Pollock. It felt like it was my own nervous system visualized on the canvas. I immediately related to it. It's almost as though it was a blueprint of what was going on inside me all of the time. It's one of the most balanced pieces of art I have ever experienced. The movement and the energy are intoxicating to look at.  I just want to stare at the painting and enter the world he has created. His paintings convey such a forceful and striking immediacy. He was constantly experimenting and refining his work. As an artist, I think that is the bravest thing you can do."

John Lautner. Wolff House in Hollywood (1961).  

John Lautner. Wolff House in Hollywood (1961).

 

"John Lautner is one of my all time favorite architects, and he inspires me to no end.  The idea that you are living in a work of art has always fascinated me.  With Wolff House, Lautner could experiment with the use of circular, hexagonal or octagonal geometry.  The home blends into the landscape at times and at others just comes stabbing out of nowhere. When I went into it for the first time, the massive stone walls that surround you felt so protective from the outside world. I felt like I had found a sanctuary.  I am attracted to homes that feel alive.  There is a giant eucalyptus tree that comes through a hole in the deck and is partially warped by stone.  The elements feel so connected to one another.  That connectivity is what attracts me to Lautner; he is a once in a lifetime talent."