Julian Alexander draws the everyday — and the nocturnal | Visual arts | Seven days

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  • “Late Night” by Julian Adon Alexander

The drawings and paintings of a young New York artist breathe a slice of urban life into Kishka Gallery and Library at White River Junction. Julien Adon Alexandre, who earned her BFA at the School of Visual Arts, favors portrayals of everyday — and nighttime — scenes around her neighborhood in Queens. His subjects are “places and people that one might meet on the way to a destination without paying attention to it”, explains a press release from the gallery.

Alexander is not the first or only artist to write down his painstaking observations of “the insignificant”. But his style is certainly his. Dense toned drawings in the center of graphite Black faces and dark objects against an equally dark sky. The result is dark, mysterious compositions that require careful consideration – like trying to find your way through a moonless night. Yet details emerge with startling clarity, like the rims of a car, the graceful arch of a metallic lamp post, the mortar in a brick wall.

A curious character recurs in some of Alexander’s drawings: a blobby, presumably human figure swaddled from head to toe in black. Only large cat eyes protrude from the masked face, usually gazing at another person in the composition. Is he stalker or protector? Whatever that number may mean to Alexander, his bogeymanship is universally relatable.

The artist’s paintings use more color, contrast and negative space, and the cover illustrations featured on her website highlight her gift for portraiture.

Alexander’s exhibition, “Effigies”, is on display in Kishka until October 2. A closing reception will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Pictured: ‘Late night’.

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