April 3 - May 24, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 3, 5:30-7:30 PM
Kanevsky depends on fresh perception, which is what Zen Buddhists call “beginners mind.” This is difficult to sustain over for a long period. However, after awhile you are not a beginner. Therefore, Kanevsky works fast, trying to hit the right note every time. Kanevsky says of his process, “…I constantly fail. But I keep coming back to a painting. It accumulates layers, each one – more or less a complete painting. Complete but failed. The layers are sort of like Swiss cheese – they have holes through which in right places you can see the previous layers. Eventually, there are enough ‘good holes’…And then I have a painting that has enough intensity in every passage to satisfy me. Then it is done.”
Kanevsky’s paintings have a great sense of motion – fast motion. Alex points out that people are never still – we are built for motion. Kanevsky finds his models endlessly fascinating, the way they are built, grow, and shrink over time. He wants to paint them the way they are defined by their motion. Alex says, “A brick is defined by its shape and people are defined by their motion.”
Alex Kanevsky was born in Russia in 1963. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1993. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the 1997 Pew fellowship for painting.