77
JUMP TO LOT
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary African Art

|
London

Keith Alexander
1946-1998
THE RECLUSE
signed (lower right)
oil on canvas
138 by 123cm., 54½ by 48½ in.
Painted in 1991
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Provenance

Acquired by current owner's parents, Toronto, circa 1990 

Catalogue Note

Using a combination of realism and neo-surrealism, Keith Alexander has become known for creating visually dynamic works that challenge the viewer through their interesting and unexpected perspectives. The artist often chooses to represent unusual combinations of features within his works, creating compositions whereby elements often appear out of place within the broader setting. Prompted by his time spent in the Namib, a coastal desert in Southern Africa spanning across South Africa, Namibia and Angola, Alexander became interested in the ephemerality of humankind in the face of nature.

This theme is perfectly illustrated within this present lot. The dominance of nature and the transience of humankind are highlighted by the run down appearance of the building in contrast to the imposing and powerful appearance of the mountain rising out of the rough seas. At the top of what appears to be a very treacherous rocky mountain sits a solitary run down building, a set winding steps creep around the side of the mountain, once used for carrying visitors to the top of the rock form.  In the foreground of the work, we see a man standing at the front of the dock gazing out onto what we assume is the vast ocean that lies in front of him. Surrounded by ocean and presumably completely isolated, it seems unusual that this duo would be found within this setting. Entitled The Recluse, it is unclear as to whether or not Alexander is referring to the building or the man, if not both.

Modern and Contemporary African Art

|
London