A curated exhibition at the NAMARA Projects space, selected from across several bodies of work and informed by the following tenets:
[ⅰ] Practice here involves a persistent discovery and wielding of new creative tools, strategies, and ideas. [ⅱ] An aim to reveal the hybrid and fluid nature of things. [ⅲ] This body is mine but I am not my body. [ⅳ] Art is an unlikely extension of nature. [ⅴ] Assistance as a partnership. [ⅵ] Perspectivism reigns.
Giving Entry is an exhibition of works by artists who employ flowers or floral motifs in considerations of social, philosophical, and political subjects. What matters most is the embeddedness of these blooms in their particular stories. Within this exhibition, flowers are put to work symbolically in varied artistic inquiries. Counting among them are built narratives around equality and difference; history, memory, and temporality; environment and climate; speculation and the supernatural.
Curated by Veronika Ivanova, “Bending Towards the Sun” is a fundraising exhibition in support of YYZ. “Bending Towards the Sun” celebrates YYZ Artists’ Outlet—their growth and transformation over the past 40 years, and their resilience and ability to thrive in a climate increasingly hostile to cultural work.
The fifteen RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalists are selected by a distinguished jury from the Canadian art community to represent the emerging voices that explore, challenge, and embrace the nature of the medium.
2016 09, Trace • Copy • Render, Circuit Gallery @ Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto. Curated by Claire Sykes.
This exhibition brings together four artists who are thinking about origins, process, materials, and labour as they explore the possibilities and implications of working digitally.
At the heart of Trace • Copy • Render is a shared interest in revealing, hiding, and playing with digital and material processes and manipulations, and the coincidence or disconnect (as the case may be) between final output and the myriad steps involved in the process of its realization.
Alex Fischer is an artist whose practice deliberately blurs and confounds the borders between media, and constitutes digital-image making as an extension of traditional artistic media and concerns. He uses advanced digital imaging techniques to manipulate found source imagery, to layer and build-up complex new compositions that are often hard to pin down as to medium or process, and which maintain a tension between the physical and the virtual, the original and the copy, the index and the trace.
In a fascinating inversion of his work on the computer, Fischer just as easily jumps out from the digital realm—off the virtual canvas—and performs ‘photoshop’ by physically copying, tracing, blending, adding layers and various effects to printed and painted works. Fischer’s series of work in Trace • Copy • Render offers a self-reflexive glimpse into his process of creation and concerns and includes paintings, projections, and prints.
The myth of Malinche tells of a world ended and of a woman caught between two cultures, translating the words of conquerors and the conquered. As a symbol of colonization and cultural subjugation, she represents the loss of an indigenous way of life and the assimilation to the colonizers' language and values. The myth speaks to the pain of a world lost and the struggle to understand and survive in a new reality.
2018 06Season V Set, EQ Bank, Toronto
2015 021, 7, and 6000, O'Born Contemporary, Toronto
(1) On the occasion of Alex Fischer's fourth solo exhibition with O'Born Contemporary, he problematizes the "single image" by its very conversion into multiple, nearly identical forms. A digital original is here reproduced as 1 digital print, 7 large oil paintings, and 6000 small acrylic paintings. Through this multi-modal exhibition, Fischer deliberates on the nature of art with its value systems and capitalist patrimony.
Current agricultural trends demonstrate that when tomatoes are grown, the aim is to direct natural processes, taking agency over evolution. Like all biological species, the tomato plant contains a genetic copy of itself inside every cell of its being. Repetition and versioning are as much a rule in agriculture as they are in human life. Conversely, uniqueness and independence of mind are selling points when it comes to art. There is an established value in originality.1.
(7) Each of the 7 oil paintings was completed by an equal number of painters working in Xiamen, China. Fischer puts the work of these trained hands in direct visual argument with the mechanically reproduced print: he suggests deliberation about the capitalist mechanism and simultaneously entertains his moral ambiguity within this landscape of unapologetic consumptive socio-culture.
The controversy here may be in the fact that Fischer criticizes the capitalist system by highlighting elements that are uncomfortable to acknowledge while fully engaging with capitalism's ideologies through the kaleidoscope of fine art and its market. He grows the pieces, puts them under optimal lighting, and creates versions at price points to invite the viewer to buy.
(6000) An arched shelf bolsters 6000 small sheets of thin, transparent plastic. Hundreds have already been painted, revealing that they exist as an assemblage of tiles that, when properly arranged, mimic their parent image. Fischer will paint the remaining sheets on demand as they are requested and will continue this practice alongside his other projects.
Artwork as a commodity is not valuable per se– its value is the result of an ongoing and never ending social negotiation. That being said, the work of art, and painting specifically, is an object that bears a concrete, almost measurable evidence of labour on its surface.2. Paintings are worked over and leave a trace of the individual mark maker. Each edition in 1, 7, and 6000 shows on its surface the inevitable difference made during translation between parent image and end product. Each image is the real thing.
1. This idea is commensurate with remarks issued by Ben Davis: It is the "uniquely middle-class nature of creative labor in the visual arts [that] would seem to explain its alternative emphasis on the individual, that is, on the virtues of personality and small production, as well as a whole host of other stylistic tics and affectations(...) visual art's characteristic questioning or ironic attitude; the value of the artist's signature and the "artist's statement" that are associated with it." Davis, Ben. 9.5 Theses on Art and Class - Commerce and Consciousness. Chicago:Haymarket Books, 2013. PDF file.
2. Graw, Isabelle. Thinking through Painting - Reflexivity and Agency beyond the Canvas. Sternberg Press, 2012. Page 56.
2017—2010Figures in a Landscape
2015 05The Collective, O'Born Contemporary, Toronto
A survey of the collected artists exhibited at O'Born Contemporary.
In recent critical discussion, the phrase Post-Internet art has surfaced to replace the term New Media, reflecting the now ubiquitous nature of digital technology. Now that the Internet has shifted from novelty to normalcy, Post-Internet artists are focusing less on the means and more on the ends, creating work that couples virtual reality with a strong material presence. The art world’s embrace of this new phase was signaled by the first auction dedicated exclusively to digital art, staged by renowned auction house, Phillips, in October of 2013. Angell Gallery has been at the forefront of promoting this new wave of digital practice, and in SIMULATORS II the gallery showcases artists who represent the exciting diversity of this rapidly expanding field.
Alex Fischer, a self-styled “sociologist of internet culture”, combs the web for diverse images drawn from art, science and technology. These he twists and turns, mows and mulches, to produce brand new entities in the forms of digital paintings and sculptures that tease us with hints at narrative possibilities while straddling the borders of abstraction. [...]
A translation can be many things: It can be a conversion or transformation from one physical form to another, it can be a progression in biological stage, and it can even be, in the most geometric of terms, the movement of a shape along an axis. Within art's pedagogical premise, the most apt definition for translation might be the rendering of something into one's own language, semiotically or aesthetically. Viewed through this lens, geographies that are foreign, ideologies that are suspect, and modes of technology to which we find ourselves unwittingly beholden need a level plane upon which to exist in globalized society. The arrow of understanding, as Translation permits, rarely points in one direction, however. The exhibition provides recourse to how translations can also abet the fetishization of objects, enabling simple acts to suddenly become estranged.
Each artist in Translation confronts the banal, at once making it pliable to our understanding and relocating it in the realm of the monumental through inherently indexical material. Alex Fischer reappropriates digital imagery culled from today's archival internet abyss, exacting the terror of the sublime through an exposition of our dissolved communion with nature. As the artist's high-resolution content surpasses any interface capable of displaying the work in its "natural state", it is revealed that human vision has entered into stalemate with contemporary pixel acuity and printing technology.
In conversation, the artists in this exhibition aim to translate aspects of life, either by material or digital processes. Transformed in these ways, the landscapes of social, psychic, cultural, physical and political content breach the boundaries of ordinary experience, inciting their audience to new personal and collective understanding.
Alex Fischer's latest body of work counter-poses the primordial origins of biology against today's dominant technology-based vernacular. In earnest, the artist acknowledges through his practice elements peculiar to the time of his being. Put in alternative terms, Fischer concedes that the acts of being and becoming are wholly different now than at any time in our recent or distant past.
Dry Pixels and Wet Molecules poses a valuable and contemporary question using sensory terms--can the digital reconcile with the physical? The works of art comprising this materially varied exhibition reveal themselves as both answers to and instigators of this question. Through digital manipulations, sculpture, and installation, Fischer convinces his audience that technology is not simply an imbricate to the physical and the palpable but rather supersedes both.
The multi-modal moment in which art-making has found itself produces what could be called "moist media", a curious but worthwhile corollary to the McLuhan's "cold media" of days past. Absorbing this idea, Fischer wedges himself between the dry, cold of the pixel and the wetness of biomolecules. Ultimately suggesting that we are living in a post-digital world, the artist exposes a tactility and precision with his imagery that in effect surpasses the daily surroundings we perceive with our own eyes and bodies.
2013 09Guest Room, p|m gallery, Toronto
An extensive group show and fundrasier for ArtBarrage
ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present SIMULATORS, an exhibition showcasing new work by eight artists who are at the forefront of contemporary digital art practices —
Jon Rafman and
Jillian Ross. The exhibition is on throughout the gallery from November 3 to December 1, 2012. An opening reception will be held on November 3, 1:00 – 4:00 PM. Digital technology has created a revolution in the art world, spawning the first new medium to arise since the birth of the artists' videos in the 1960s. Encompassing an astonishingly wide range of approaches, digital art is now exhibited and collected by major museums, and is sought after by collectors worldwide. Angell Gallery has been a leader in promoting digital art practices, and the artists in Simulators demonstrate the varied possibilities of this new medium, which as a creative tool is both demanding and limitless. Using software with the dexterity with which painters traditionally wielded the brush, the artists in Simulators create digital paintings, videos and animations that intrigue, inspire and engage. The featured artists are each recognized for their unique contributions to this developing medium.
Alex Fischer reconfigures art world images sampled from the web to construct richly layered, painterly landscape and figural compositions that belie the means of their creation. Ranging from Romantic solitary wanderers to composite faces that suggest a cyber-age Bosch, Fischer's expressive mash-ups are held together by his canny sense of colour and composition. The Toronto-based Fischer graduated from York University with a BFA in Visual Arts, and is represented in noted collections. His work has been featured in Black/Flash, Beautiful/Decay and The Walrus, among others.
2012 05Beyond The Fall, Galerie BAC (Bigué Art Contemporain)
Galerie BAC, Bigué Art Contemporain est heureuse de vous présenter la 1ère exposition solo Montréalaise de l’artiste Torontois, Alex Fischer. Cette exposition intitulée « Beyond the Fall » sera présentée du 9 au 26 mai 2012.
Alex Fischer offre une vue humaine sur des scènes futuristes; une vue qui explore des idéologies et des projections sur une société ayant un regard sur l’art contemporain.
Composant ses personnages et ses paysages avec un assemblage de visuel photographique, Fischer garde toujours en tête que l’idée du futur est inévitable auprès des gens et il maintient, dans ses images, la faiblesse et la susceptibilité de notre état.
Les sujets et personnages de ses œuvres sont une réflexion de syncrétisme. Leur identité extérieur est imposé, ils sont hétérogène, mêlé à un environnement non-conscient mais toutefois, les sujets peuvent être vue vivant dans un monde post-structural par le voyeur.
Artists must take responsibility for representing the time in which they live.
The images of Beyond The Fall come from what has become the predominant first-world interface: The personal computer and internet capable device is now the primary filter by which broad swaths of people interact and know themselves. These technologies have the ability to snake our attentions, beliefs and desires, influencing cognition and our experience of the world.
In order to represent these paradigm shifts, Alex Fischer reifies the low-culture of individualistic habits and persuasions to be in dialogue with the ripe philosophy of high art. His chosen medium of digital collage perfectly compliments his artistic process, by which he paints together images from a collection of digital sources. Each piece concedes to multiple interpretations due to Fischer's choice to obscure the visual space of the image into near abstraction. The narratives encompass characters, scenes, and symbols with all of their ambiguity, insight, and metaphysical baggage on display. The content originates from their adaptations to and the impact of this current age.
Smarter Today offers a human view of futurist landscapes, a view that explores the ideologies and projections of society through the lens of contemporary art.
Alex Fischer composes his figures and landscapes by assembling a variety of visual and conceptual sources. Keeping in mind that ideas of the future are inevitably the fastest to change, Fischer maintains that human nature is a fallible and susceptible state.
Technological advancement and machine generations have vastly outpaced the tradition of the average human life. As a society, we have adapted to accept the pace at which vast differences and contrasts will influence our modes of being. All projections of which are unpredictable beyond our present context. Today more than ever before, we situate ourselves less as individuals and more as the product of multiple networks. While this network theory suggests a node's relationship to other networks is more important than its own uniqueness, we find a backlash of reflection on individual circumstance and identity.
The subjects and characters of Smarter Today are reflections on the syncretism that created them. Their exterior identities have been extricated to include all of their precursors. They are heterogeneous and intermingled with their environments, yet maintain their subjectivity in the face of a post-structuralist world.
Smarter Today is Fischer's debut solo exhibition with O'Born Contemporary.
131 brings together this diverse group of artists to inaugurate our new space, to introduce our new curatorial team and foremost, to announce our broadened approach to medium-specific programming.
O'Born Contemporary was established as a gallery, exhibiting contemporary photographic and lens-based works by living artists. This shall be maintained in our new space with the addition of works of all mediums, conceptually or practically linked to photography or its history.
The artists that represent us are photographers, journalists, documentarians, painters, sculptors, builders and thinkers; they do not necessarily commit themselves to a single mode of expression but all contribute to the ongoing dialogue of photography's place in contemporary art practices.
Alex Fischer's work is fodder for discourse on digital image-making. His work is heavily layered, both theoretically and visually, challenging notions of appropriation and ownership. Through reference to work of practicing artists and subsequent abstraction thereof, Fischer creates a rich and elegant aestheticization of contemporary art history in social media. [...]
2009 03Alex Fischer, The Spoke Club, Toronto
2009 02This is not a bout, Special Projcts Gallery, Toronto
2009 02Backwater Resolution, The Gales Gallery, Toronto
2008 12Facing The Screen, University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto
Facing the Screen investigates the complex relationship that exists between painting and digital technologies. This public event is associated with the ongoing art lounge exhibition that will function as its physical and conceptual background. We welcome four important Canadian painters who are also faculty members in the fine arts programs at universities in the Toronto area.
2008 04Peinture fraîche / Fresh Paint, Art Mur, Montréal
As an artist, I aim to create inclusive, responsive art that challenges the homogenization of style and celebrates unique, personal expressions. My work explores the intersection of contemporary art and sociological theory, offering new perspectives on the world around us. I am passionate about pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and encouraging others to engage with the complexities of the present moment. It is my hope that my art will inspire and invigorate, sparking a new appreciation for the endless possibilities of artistic creation.
Alex Fischer (b 1986) is a multidisciplinary visual artist and digital designer who creates thought-provoking and engaging works of art. Born and raised in rural Ontario, Canada, Fischer has been based in Toronto since receiving their Bachelor of Fine Arts Honors from York University in 2009. Since then, Fischer has continued to develop their skills as an artist and designer, collaborating with other artists and exhibiting their work in cities around the world.
Fischer's artistic practice is inspired by process-based makers and is guided by the principles of assisted strategies, consilience, and perspectivism. These guiding principles inform the creation of Fischer's works, which are often scalable and high-resolution, with the intention of being realized in a variety of forms. Through experimentation and exploration, Fischer seeks to discover new ways of leveraging technologies and to push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of fine art and beyond.
Fischer's works are striking and thought-provoking, engaging the viewer with their unique aesthetic and sensitive handling of the subject matter. Whether creating public or private works, Fischer is a highly skilled artist who brings a unique vision and a deep understanding of the creative process to their work. They are an invited juror, mentor, and speaker, and have been recognized for their talent and dedication to their craft.
A heartfelt thank you to those who have helped make this possible: family, friends, techs and fabricators, as well as the generous patronage of BNY Mellon, Donald O'Born, Eqitable Bank, Leith Wheeler, Shrigley Battrick, Statoil, TD Bank Group, and The Ontario Arts Council.
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Commissions & Sales
Much of what is seen here exists as an original work or limited museum quality print, sometimes a scaled version or AP. Works are only available on an as quoted basis or as listed on Artsy. Certificates of authenticity and/or a physically signed object are provided with sale.