SANTA MONICA — Parrasch Heijen Gallery and Franklin Parrasch Gallery announced the death of artist Peter Alexander, 81, at his Santa Monica home on Tuesday morning, May 26.
Alexander was born in 1939 in Los Angeles, California. His initial motive for his career was to become an architect when he attended the University of Pennsylvania studying under Louis Kahn, a renowned American architect. Alexander worked with architects Richard Neutra and William Pereira, assisting them with developing numerous projects including architectural illustrations for Westways magazine. Eventually, he transferred to University of California as an art major where he studied under Richard Diebenkorn, abstract impressionism painter.
He was most commonly associated with the Light and Space movement. His six-decade work included his resin sculptures, which came to light as he was a student at UCLA. His sculptures were plaster landscapes contained in a plexiglass box. One of his well-known resin sculptures, “Cloud Box,” created in 1966, is identified as significant work within the West Coast minimalism sector.
Many of his following sculptures took a similar appearance, encompassing transparent colors at the top of a wedge/pyramid and significantly opaque towards the base. Two years later, Alexander hosted his first solo exhibition at Robert Elkon Gallery, following many more extensive exhibitions around the world. He began to paint more landscapes when he moved away with his family to Tuna Canyon, focusing on pictorial translations and utilizing materials such as corduroy, velvet, and taffeta.
“I’m a romantic, and I believed in it. I believed in the value of things. believe that objects can be made that can have an extraordinary effect on me and others,” stated Peter Alexander in the Smithsonian Archive of American Art Interview in 1995.
Alexander’s work is held in numerous areas including Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, Harvard University, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art and more.