Alexandra Karakashian participates in the group show Material Insanity at MACAAL, Marrakech
From february 26th to september 22nd, Alexandra Karakashian participates in Material Insanity, a group show at the Museum of Contemporanean Art Al Maaden (MACAAL). The show is an exploration of different and diverse materials and their symbolism.
Listen to the artist Alexandra Karakashian talking about her practice
“I often think that when I am making a painting is a process of becoming something”, explains Alexandra Karakashian about ‘Umbecoming’, the works exhibited in 2017. The way her works cohexists in the spaces aren’t random at all: “I like to make my work quite specific for the space. I think of how things exist in space”, says the artist. Her favourite materials: engine oil and salt either on canvas or paper. Also on textiles. “As a material, I think it (oil) has a weight on surfaces, it has a weight on the world. Its heavy, it falls. And the salt too”, continues. “People always ask me what is it, I see this or that… I think that’s great but why do you need to see this as something you know? Why can’t exist in space as something that is unfamiliar, something that makes us slightly uncomfortable? (…) I try to break the boundary between me and the land. It’s just one thing”.
Sabrina Amrani will present Alexandra Karakashian at ARCOlisboa 2019
Sabrina Amrani’s gallery will be in ARCOlisboa showing the last works from Alexandra Karakashian, a South African artist originally from Armenia. Her works, clearly marked by a very special process and key materials like engine oil and salt, will be at the fair from May 15th to 19th.
Unbecoming - Karakashian talks about her work
By using engine oil and salt as main ingredients for her work, South African artist Alexandra Karakashian includes symbolism in her paintings. The technique, explains the artist, is more about removing the oil until she gets the shapes she is looking for. In this special occasion, Karakashian's paintings are accompanied by a Kanya Mashabela's poem that "describes" her work.
ArtAfrica Magazine - Such Sweet Thunder: Alexandra Karakashian and the Catastrophic Imagination
"Alexandra Karakashian’s rise to celebrity status was rapid, as her debut coincided with the international resurgence of interest in abstraction. However as the SMAC exhibition ‘GROUND’ reveals, her paintings are an acquired taste for she is utterly uncompromising: refusing point-blank to make any concessions, or woo the viewer with blandishments". Writes Lloyd Pollak. Read more below.
Artthrob Magazine: 'A Dark Ascending Horizon'
In her monochromatic studio, on a greyscale day, Alexandra Karakashian pours a cone of salt into the upturned lid of a jar. The lid holds a layer of liquid that resembles treacle or tar. She tells me that it is sump, used motor oil, which she sources from a network of generous, inner-city mechanics.
Artthrob Magazine: In Context: Frieze London and 1:54
Frieze London and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair were both open in London over the same four days (4 – 9 Oct, 2016), presenting the perfect opportunity to reflect on the way context influences engagement with a work, in two settings that were at once similar and vastly different.
About reductive painting
Artist Alexandra Karakashian shows the practice of her technique in this video. See how the shapes come out while she removes the oil.