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Alexi Worth: Nearness

DC Moore Gallery is pleased to announce Alexi Worth: Nearness, on view from January 7 – February 12, 2022. The gallery will hold a celebration with Alexi Worth on January 27 from 5-8pm.

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Tilt, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48 inches

The earliest image-makers used airbrushes (or their Stone Age equivalents, reeds, and bones) to blow pigment, leaving flat portraits of their own hands. In his own hand-centered airbrush paintings, Alexi Worth has developed a technique that is both suggestively archaic and contemporary, reflecting on what it means for pictures to be handmade in an age when our iPhone cameras have become extensions of our hands.

Using flat, almost uninflected shapes and only three colors, Worth shows us a world between our fingers and our faces, a foreground world, claustrophobic, possibly solipsistic, haunted by what he calls “studio paranoia,” that is, the solitary artist’s fear that he is talking only to himself. At the same time, these pictures hint at the opposite--the possibility of social connection. Despite their nearly abstract language, they suggest a real-world situation familiar to us all: two people drinking, raising stemmed glasses to sip liquids that will dissolve awkwardness and facilitate conversation. This wineglass view has featured in Worth’s work for more than a decade, but here, for the first time, Worth has devoted a whole exhibition to variations on a single subject.

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Tipping, 2020
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48 inches

Though drinking is traditionally an emblem of intimacy, friendship, and courtship, Worth’s second drinker is unidentified, and the liquids in the two glasses tilt in opposite directions, suggesting an unbalanced, precarious, see-saw situation. Meanwhile, the prevalence of circular shapes elicits metaphysical and musical associations: the base or bowl of a wineglass might also be a CD, an optical lens, even a planetary orbit. Flatness and nearness, in these pictures, turn out to be haunted by volatility, depth, and distance. 

Alexi Worth is a Guggenheim Award winning painter whose work has been described as puzzling, humorous, and erotic: "Realism with Benefits," as The New York Times put it in 2010.  Born and raised in New York City, Worth is a former art critic, and the author of numerous catalog essays, most recently for painters Jackie Saccoccio, Carroll Dunham, and Jasper Johns. 

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Tipping, 2020
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48 inches

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Tilt, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

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Slant, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

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Curtain, 2020
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

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Opening, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

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Seesaw, 2020
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

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Here #1, 2022
Mixed media on mesh
36 x 27 inches
 

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Here #2, 2022
Mixed media on mesh
36 x 27 inches
 

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Expresso, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

Ladder, 2022
Mixed media on mesh
82 x 46/45 inches
 

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Mach's Glass, 2019
Oil on mylar
9 x 12 inches
 

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View, 2020
Ink on paper
8 7/8 x 12 inches
 

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Tipping, 2020
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48 inches

Tilt, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

Slant, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

Curtain, 2020
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

Opening, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

Seesaw, 2020
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

Here #1, 2022
Mixed media on mesh
36 x 27 inches
 

Here #2, 2022
Mixed media on mesh
36 x 27 inches
 

Expresso, 2021
Mixed media on mesh
68 x 48/45 inches

Ladder, 2022
Mixed media on mesh
82 x 46/45 inches
 

Mach's Glass, 2019
Oil on mylar
9 x 12 inches
 

View, 2020
Ink on paper
8 7/8 x 12 inches