Artist: Alexandra Noel
Venue: Parker Gallery, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Theatre Road
Date: November 11, 2018 – January 12, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Parker Gallery, Los Angeles
Parker Gallery is pleased to present Theatre Road, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Noel.
Theatre Road is a small stretch of US Route 219 in rural western Pennsylvania. Between cornfields, churches, a mink farm and now defunct coal mines, there is a drive-in theater called “Hi-Way Drive-In”. Built in the years following the end of World War II, the theater existed before the road had a name. Due to emergency responders not being able to locate callers living on that section of highway, it was finally given the name Theatre Road in the 1990’s.
Noel’s mother grew up directly across the road from the drive-in theater and would often fall asleep to the soundtrack of Hollywood movies and wafting scents of popcorn mixed with livestock. A few miles north, Noel’s father grew up in a town that was famously known for its clay works brickmaking factory, which closed in the late 1960’s. Their product once paved the streets underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris and was used in the construction of the Panama Canal.
The same highway, 50 miles south, was also renamed in remembrance of United Flight 93, not far from where the plane went down near an Amish settlement. A dissonant melody of semi truck engines and the hooves of Amish horse and buggies, perpetually on their “way into town”, frequent this stretch of highway.
Theatre Road sets Noel’s paintings into motion, asking where we are going and where we have been. The images are colored in an ethereal palette of jewel tones and daydream pastels and composed from inventive points of view: zoomed-in, tightly cropped, stretched to a narrow panorama, and pictorial space so utterly flattened as to deny depth of field. Seemingly disparate subjects find connections, ranging from a taxidermied trophy bear in Stuffed Animal, to characters from two different films finding themselves in the same scene in Father’s Portrait, to a tessellated depiction of a terrorist attack in Amish when the planes went down.
As painted objects, they are perfectly scaled for intimate viewing and their comparison in size to handheld devices is not mere coincidence. Noel’s paintings construct their own cinematic narratives, playing out beyond the frame. They are situated with one foot in history and the other traveling elsewhere.
Alexandra Noel (b. 1989, lives and works in Los Angeles). Select solo exhibitions include Bodega at Frieze London, UK (2018), From rafters, Bodega, New York, NY (2016) and Bone-in, Neochrome, Turin, Italy (2016). Select group exhibitions include Galerie Sultana, Paris, France (2018), Kiss in Tears, curated by XYZ Collective, Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles, CA (2018), Tiger Poems and Songs for Hurricanes, Travesia Cuatro, Guadalajara, Mexico (2018), By the Lakeside, organized by Yui Yaegashi, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017), Economy Plus, organized by Camille Blatrix, Balice Hertling, Paris, France (2017), Instrument of the Homecoming, The Sunroom, Richmond, VA (2016), All at Once, with Naoki Sutter-Shudo, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2016) and Aunt Nancy, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2016).