Palm Beach & Naples Times

PALM BEACH & THE NAPLES TIMES

(A new visual language surfaces at the Absolute L.A. International)

One unexpected and welcome discovery this year was the multifaceted “paintings” by German Artist Alex Stenzel, a young visionary…who presented bold, bright and beautiful works created with a curious formula of combining large-scale color c-prints with acrylic overlays. In so many other art fairs, works are presented in a safe line up of identifiable contemporary secondary market supects, often hindering creativity and discouraging younger talent from surfacing.

In the relaxed and causal atmosphere which is L.A., courageous artists like Stenzel can flourish, and are identified by local media as valuable contributors to a well-balanced roster…

It is with a keen eye for dicovery and a camera that painter Stenzel captures an odd aesthetic slant rather brilliantly, separating a photographic printed surface full of volume and weight with well-balanced painted lines, and an occalsional geometric shape… An ambitious vertical blue painting seems to be communicating a new visual language by skillfully combining a photographic image with acrylic paint, capturing the chance visual poetry found on a common, wire-wrapped fence post out on the range…

These works remind us of art history iconography while making their own historic claims…The geometry here pays homage to Mondrian in a haphazard rendition of Broadway Boogie Woogie…Some of his paintings seem to be bundles wrapped together like a Christo knapsack with strong, tight lines that offer a measure of aesthetic security…

Nature is reflected in work produced after his spiritual awakening in the Aboriginal Australian Outback. Using the environment as a foundation, the artist incorporates weathered manufactured objects, such as fences from Africa, shipwrecks in Australia or broken windows and factory hallways discovered almost anywhere. It is the remarkable combination and juxtaposition of nature, art history references, and man made elements, with a manipulation of space and weight, that make this new series a breakthrough-a pioneering foot pushing apart a theatrical curtain that has been opened for the first time.

Reviewed by – Bruce Helander October 2001

http://alexstenzel.com/category/media/