Alexander Edwards (b. 1991, Denver, CO) is a contemporary sculptor who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
As a child he grew up in the foster care system, an experience which provides an unexpected entrypoint to his practice. The sculptures in this exhibition embody a simple and algorithmic kind of integrity that Edwards describes was central to his coming of age—the sense that you get out what you put in. For Edwards, "Food has always been an ideal material for me that allows family to get together and lay it all out on the table. It carries the history of traditions and culture. I've never actually seen my mother and father in the same room for a meal, so there was always a detachment for me from what a 'normal' life and family looked like on TV. I'm always trying to grasp at that space, be it physical or technological, it always seems to be out of reach."
Edwards groups his relief sculptures without hierarchy, mixing non functional pieces of technology to represent systems that do not work but have large influences on our lives, like the foster care system, education system, and prison system.
Edwards addresses both the feeling of being boxed in and trapped as life rots away, and how technological spaces represent physical spaces we occupy and function through that seem to be corrupt to the world around it, but naturalized as a way of custom.
By rendering his systemic upbringing with abstract and figurative detail and encasing it with a vivid palette, Edwards makes his subject matter immediately felt. He ingests the stuff of his life into surfaces that both evoke and provoke, inspiring uncanny leaps in the minds of the viewers. We might never have been in these systems, or reached these spaces, but if we've spent any time at all in this country, we know them like the back of our hand. Or like the channels on our grandma's TV.
Edwards attended Pratt Institute and has created installations for Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York; O’ Flaherty’s Gallery, New York City, New York; Citygroup Gallery, New York, New York; Hangar Centro de Investigacao Artistica Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal and various private collections.