Alexandra Noel


    Alexandra Noel (b. 1989) currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She graduated with a BA in Visual Arts from the University of San Diego in 2011 and a MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2013.

    Alexandra Noel’s small-scale paintings reveal uncanny assemblages of images. She concentrates on things depicted in a manner somewhere between surreal and familiar: newborns, home objects, and suburbia landscapes. She incorporates these aspects into far-flung imagined landscapes, tragic scenarios, and reinvented cinematic moments. The little panels hint at the size difference between human bodies and electronic devices. She zooms in, crops, stretches, and rescales her little panels as if they were images on screen. The audience is invited to view them from a very intimate perspective. Meanwhile, she emphasizes the tension between being sculptural and illusionistic. As a painter, Noel establishes a linguistic parallel to the dystopic and magical themes of her works by writing fiction that resembles the tone of poetry or a movie.

    Recent Solo Exhibitions: Three, Four, Derosia, New York, US (2022); Table, Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris, France (2022); Funny Looking, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2021); Beijing Contemporary 2020 – Solo presentation with Antenna Space, 798 Art Center, Beijing, China (2020); There’s always something, Bodega (Derosia), New York, US (2019); Just a head, Atlantis, Marseille, France (2019); Master Planned, Freedman Fitzpatrick, Paris, France (2019); Theatre Road, Parker Gallery, Los Angeles, US (2018); Frieze London – Solo presentation with Bodega (Derosia), London, UK (2018); The Armory Show – Solo presentation with Bodega (Derosia), New York, US (2017) among others.

    Selected Group Exhibitions: Horizons: Is there anybody out there?, curated by Robin Peckham, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2023); Basic Fit, Office Baroque, Antwerp, Belgium (2023); Small Fixations, ICA Milano, Milan, Italy (2022); FRONT International Triennial: Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, Cleveland, US (2022); Particularities, curated by Chris Sharp, X Museum, Beijing, China (2021); Made in L.A. 2020: A Version, Hammer Museum and The Huntington, Los Angeles, US (2020); The Sentimental Organization of the World, Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris, France (2020); Bolthole, Potts, Los Angeles, US (2019); A Cloth Over a Birdcage, Château Shatto, Los Angeles, US (2019); Kiss in Tears, curated by XYZ Collective, Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles, US (2018); Condo NY – Hosting Crèvecoeur (Paris), Derosia, New York, US (2018); Economy Plus, curated by Camille Blatrix, Balice Hertling, Paris, France (2017); Paris Internationale 2017 (Special Feature, Part 2), Libération de Paris, Paris, France (2017) among others.





    • Kissing Through a Bullet Hole: Alexandra Noel | Text: Travis Diehl

      paintings—in a way, it’s not too much to think of them as little precious mysteries, still smudged with pigmented afterbirth. Indeed, Baby Me (2021) and Y, a self-portrait (2019) both render the same photo of a minutes-old infant (presumably the artist) with different framings; here, painting allows a sort of out-of-body pilgrimage to the artist’s own beginning. It’s a wild, splayed composition, the infant’s purpled folds rubbed with medical gore, umbilical stub clamped closed. It is the endpoint of copulation, in a sense—certainly the end of gestation—and the beginning of consciousness and meaning making. The finished canvas is fresh, full, an articulated being unto itself, yet unresolved, taut with yearning, like two artificial flies kissing through a bullet hole.

    • Alexandra Noel in Conversation with Claire Shiying Li | Claire Shiying Li

      I’ve always thought of paintings as being three-dimensional objects. I think it’s a common and disingenuous interpretation not to acknowledge that they exist in space and come off of the wall, even if it’s only slightly. Even if their surface depicts something “realistic”, I want the smallness of mine to call attention to them as objects, which can give the desire to hold or consume them. Sometimes I want the paintings to come off the wall entirely sometimes, which is where my “sculptures” come in. I’ve always looked at the sides of paintings when I go to see shows. Did the artist address them? Did they tape the edges to keep them clean or did they ignore them and let paint messily build up? Did they paint on unstretched canvas and then stretch it over bars? Frames used to resolve this issue but frames are rarely used anymore. For me, the enamel acts as a built-in frame, but sometimes I let the oil paint spill over the sides or let the enamel take over the face. I like that the viewer is sometimes rewarded if they look underneath.

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