Pitfalls and Withdrawals: Solo exhibition @ GHC Jan. 16 – Feb. 15, 2014
request list of images in exhibition: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyons Wier Gallery group exhibition in NYC Feb 15 – March 16, 2013
Born and raised in Peterborough, ON. Lives and works in Toronto, ON.
General Hardware Contemporary is pleased to present Pitfalls and Withdrawals, Alex Bierk’s first solo exhibition. Alex Bierk transposes images from his past onto canvas and deconstructs source material into abstraction as visceral reclamations of his lived experience. This body of work focuses on the connection between youth and the formation of identity and the disappearance and distortion of memory. Of paramount significance is his sentient and continually evolving relationship with his past as it is referenced throughout the work. Alex re-appropriates source material to explore the language and rhetoric of imagery as well as the layers of meaning, whether created, intended or accidental, in the source photographs. Working within the physical rigidity and premeditated nature of the grid process, the works become sites of evolving conflict and uncertainty. Ranging from painted landscapes to still life or portraits, the works intertwine contemplations of dreams, memory, nostalgia, longing, and hallucination, while maintaining a sensibility and precision that spills into hyperrealism. Bierk paints to recover memories lost to drugs, to engage in dialogue with people with whom he can no longer speak, and to look back on places that can no longer be visited.
Bierk’s work recounts a struggle unique to him, it finds its cultural context in the recent and widespread epidemic of OxyContin abuse in Ontario. By using candid photographic snapshots as the basis for these paintings, he exposes an unglamorous autobiography, in contrast to the more sensationalized depictions of opiate abuse found in popular media.
In 2013 Alex was nominated for the Kingston Prize for Canadian Portraiture. Alex Bierk’s painting’s are included in the collections of The Royal Bank of Canada and The Toronto Dominion Bank as well as in numerous private collections. Alex has exhibited his paintings in several group shows in Canada and most recently in New York City, at Art Toronto, Scope Miami and Art Southampton.
ALEX BIERK – CV
Born 1982 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Lives and Works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Toronto School of Art, 2002
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS AND FAIRS
Pitfalls and Withdrawals (solo), General Hardware Contemporary, Toronto ON, Winter 2014
TBA, Art Gallery of Peterborough, Peterborough ON, Summer/Fall 2014
Collection Mini Moi, Galerie Youn, Montreal QC, Canada
The Kingston Prize, Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary AB, Canada
Art Southampton, Lyons Wier Gallery, Booth A71, Southampton NY, USA
Skipping Stones, General Hardware Contemporary, Toronto ON, Canada
Retuning Reality, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY, USA
SCOPE Miami, General Hardware Contemporary, Booth K07, Miami Beach, FL, USA
Art Toronto, General Hardware Contemporary, Booth #944, Toronto ON, Canada
Fall Classic, SMASH (curated by Dave Murray), Toronto ON, Canada
Pulp Friction, Intellectual Property (curated by Steve Roufas), Toronto ON, Canada
Inaugural Exhibition, General Hardware Contemporary, Toronto ON, Canada
Family Portrait, CRAM Gallery, St. Catharines ON, Canada
Royal Bank of Canada
Bizarre Beyond Belief, “Alex Bierk – Realist Portraiture” Bizarre Beyond Belief, Sept. 2012 http://bizarrebeyondbelief.com/2012/09/07/alex-bierk-realist-portraiture/
Jess Bloom & Rachel MacFarlane, “The Bierk Brothers” Studio Beat, Sept. 2012 http://www.studio-beat.com/artists/alex-jeff-nick-charlie-bierk-toronto-painters/
Jennifer Lorraine Fraser, “Love, Life and the World of Alex Bierk” Forest City Gallery, Nov.16 2011 http://fcgintern.blogspot.ca/2011/11/love-life-and-world-of-alex-bierk.html
NOW Magazine “Must-See Shows” NOW Magazine, Oct. 2010
Elizabeth Bower “Alex Bierk in New Exhibition” Peterborough Examiner, Oct. 2010
Tobey C. Anderson, “Family Portrait No.2” CRAM International, Oct. 2010 http://cramart.blogspot.ca/2010/10/family-portrait-no-2.html
Elizabeth Bower, “Bierk Brothers Offer Art About Family Relationships” Peterborough Examnier, Sept. 201