Danielle Alexander is a young Cape Town based artist and graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town as well as being a Gallery Manager and Assistant Curator at No 5 On Hudson. She majored in Painting and Visual and Art History which is notable in some of the art historical references and characteristics seen in her oil paintings with specific inspiration being drawn from Neoclassism and Baroque imagery. She uses images of linen found in her personal domestic spaces as her subject matter using the creases and folds of the drapery in place of body to communicate emotions of tension, passivity or drama. This is used as a metaphor to reveal and conceal broader concerns and questions around institutional critique within a Fines Arts context and its canons of established or recognisable symbolism, as well as more personal concerns such as vulnerability and agency. Her compositions always have a façade of composure but there is always an underlying current of tension, vulnerability, questioning and hopefulness.
She is also concerned with mundane objects, subject matter and materiality often putting those elements in conversation with one another to heighten their assumed value. She often works with alternative media such as Crete stone, polyfilla and plaster to create textured paintings but again comments on notions of the seen and unseen through the use of materials usually associated with hiding or fixing cracks or faults. By using them as her primary materials she brings them to the forefront both conceptually and aesthetically, hereby changing their value and meaning. Her monochrome works are somewhat influenced by the Monochrome paintings of the 1960s and how they could change depending on how light and shadow fell. She aims to create a mood through a focus on texture rather than colour, reducing a painting to its basic elements to expose its raw essence. It is focussed even in its abstraction creating a moment of reflection, a pause. Drawing on images of imagined landscapes it looks at ideas of memory being ingrained or attached to place but also acts as a way of trying to map out internal thoughts and notions of positionality.
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