Alexandra Giannell is in her first year of teaching as an assistant professor of painting and drawing in the department of art and design at Utah Valley University. UVU has created a virtual art exhibition titled “Peripheral Terrains’ with a collection of Gianell’s work.
Giannell’s ‘Peripheral Terrians’ can be accessed virtually on the UVU’s Museum of Art home page from Jan 10 to Mar 19. The pieces featured are fairly new, the oldest being from 2018 and the newest piece from 2021. See ??https://www.uvu.edu/museum/
“The works are generally either drawings consisting of graphite powder on paper using touch-based approaches or paintings using subtractive and additive oil paint techniques on canvas,” Giannell said. “Both engage processes which encourage an oscillation between a sense of construction and deconstruction. The drawings vary greatly in scale and were all executed without a pencil, purely using my hands (and feet) and erasers to build image, embedding the highly loaded mark of the maker, suggesting both its presence and absence. The paintings are generally of a medium-scale and use both traditional tool-based approaches alongside direct haptic techniques.”
Giannell used abstract art to create pieces centered around historical events and theories she has learned about over these past few years. There are three art sections within ‘Peripheral Terrains’ and 15 pieces in total.
“This is a meaningful exhibition to me,” said Giannell. “It is the first time these three series of work have come together to create a broad dialogue around historical and contemporary suppression of marginalized identities”
‘Breathturn’ has the most pieces within the exhibition, with six abstract pieces. ‘Breathturn’ is centered around the Holocaust.
“My favorite piece to create was ‘Chasm: Pacing the Plowed Field, Alone” from the Breathturn Series,’ Giannell said. “It was made in Poland during a residency where I was able to study and respond to genocide-drenched landscapes of the Holocaust. This piece was also an exploration in display, as it initially was exhibited on the ground, intended for viewers to look upon it as a field, potentially interacting with it by walking over it. The hardest piece for me to create was ‘Carving Threadsuns: In-heavened in Plague-shrouds'” Also from the Breathturn Series responding specifically to the Majdanek concentration camp. As an interpretation of the energetic weaving of the camp landscape, the execution was both heavy and seemingly never-ending.”
There are two other sections in the exhibit. The ‘Fallacy of structure’ includes five abstract pieces centered around the idea of gaze-control architecture. The ‘inside on the outside’ section is about Giannell’s experience back in 2019, when she was a part of an education project. There are four abstract pieces within this section.
A few of Giannell’s art pieces are done on paper and others on canvas, some with graphite/ ink and some with oil paint.
To learn more about Alexandra Giannell and her artwork, go to her website from the exhibition under the ‘about the artist’ section or by going to https://www.alexandragiannell.com/ . Giannell’s website has information about all her art-related things, including all the exhibitions she is a part of.