Miettinen Collection presents “Alexander Basil” curated by Kirsi Mikkola

02 December – 19 December

Temporary Showroom 1st floor, access through gallery Robert Grunenberg

Opening hours: Wed – Sat, 12 am – 6pm, without appointment.

To ensure safe and secure visits of the show for everyone, we ask that you please follow the sanitary regulations by wearing face masks and keeping the recommended safe distance of 1,5 m.

Alexander Basil and I met in 2018 in the Academy of Fine Art Vienna during the Annual Rundgang, in which students present their work. He stood quietly next to his paintings and smiled sweetly in my direction. We bonded instantly in an informal manner. Although he was never directly a student of mine, that first meeting led to a warm and fruitful exchange about his work and aspects of life. What attracted me to his paintings was the interesting combination of technique, imagination and serious intent, with a playful and often cheeky sense of humour.

Alexander started his studies as a 17 year old in the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf. By the time he came to Vienna in 2018 at the age of 21, he had mastered the compositional aspects of pictorial thinking. Our discussions were focused on how to infuse life into these ambitious compositions, where simple, flat surfaces are animated with precise and often exquisite detail. There is tension and volume in his almost monumental renditions of two bodies intertwined. Three dimensional space is created by lovers engaging in a tender embrace. Their gaze keeps them, and us hostage.

Art historically interesting correspondences can be found with Italian mannerists such as Pontormo, Tiepolo and the exuberant, voluptuous painters of the Rococo. Fragonard, Watteau and Boucher created lustful and sensuous worlds of erotic charm and hedonism. Alexander is a self-confessed admirer of the work of William Copley. This is the connection that brings him to our time.

Drawing is the basis on which he builds his paintings. The outlines are rhythmic and sharp. However, the unique way Alexander involves us in reflections of expressive intimacy give his work reassuring, universal appeal. Thus it is a great pleasure to curate this selection of his works in his first ever solo exhibition in Salon Dahlmann | Miettinen Collection.

Text by Kirsi Mikkola