San Marino, CA
Alex Israel lives and works in Los Angeles, where he was born in 1982. Deeply entwined with his home town, Israel’s art explores the iconography of L.A. and Hollywood, and the cult of celebrity. It posits L.A. as central to an understanding of American culture and the American dream.
The exhibition Alex Israel at The Huntington places 16 of Israel’s paintings and sculptures, as well as two site-specific murals, among the works in the historic Huntington Art Gallery, which once served as the residence of Gilded Age collectors Henry and Arabella Huntington and, since 1928, as the gallery for a celebrated European art collection. Intended to spark a dialogue between the new and the old, this intervention of Israel’s work within the Gallery creates a discourse on place and identity, two things fundamental to understanding Henry Huntington’s own love of Southern California, a region whose identity he helped to forge.
The works in Alex Israel at The Huntington, all dated between 2012 and 2015, will be seeded throughout the Gallery’s two stories. “Most everyone who comes to the Huntington Art Gallery is instantly struck by the richness of the collection and the magnificence of the setting,” said Catherine Hess, chief curator of European art at The Huntington and co-curator with Salatino of the exhibition. “But it is our job to bring all this alive in creative ways and, from time to time, to offer new ways of looking at these great works. Placing Alex’s art among The Huntington’s European collections will turn a visit to our familiar rooms into a treasure hunt of surprises.”
Exhibition overview from Museum website