Gavlak is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Jose Alvarez (b. New York City, 1968) at Art Basel Miami Beach 2008. For this exciting exhibition in the Art Supernova section (Booth Q4), Alvarez will present a powerful combination of newly created mica paintings, collaged works-on-paper and video animations that continues his exploration of the complex intersection of mysticism, science, spirituality, and the construction of belief systems. Drawing on his long-standing dialogue with James Randi, the famous magician and renowned challenger of paranormal phenomena, and on his own recent visits to Houston's NASA Space Flight Center and to Australia's Parkes Observatory telescope, Alvarez explores how the unfolding of psychic hoaxes, the perceived supernatural energy of charmed objects, and the mysterious quests underlying space exploration all connect to the strong human desire for knowledge and transformation.
The booth will be an explosion of psychedelic colors with the brilliant "maximal" works on paper that collage such shamanistic materials as feathers, porcupine quills, crystals, as well as "high art" materials such as watercolor, acrylic paint, and handmade papers. In addition, the other, more contemplative side of Alvarez's work will be represented in the minimal "paintings" that are made entirely of shaved mineral crystal, or mica. Alvarez will also present new video works composed of abstract geometric animations, which are the opulent accompaniment to Alvarez's collages and paintings- coupling voluptuous swells of colorful shapes with hypnotic sound creating a peaceful, yet hallucinatory atmosphere. All work will be newly created for Art Basel Miami Beach.
Jose Alvarez began his career by making a name for himself through charismatic performances where he "channeled" the 2,000-year-old spirit of a shaman named Carlos. In front of live audiences around the world, Carlos' performances and media broadcasts have been viewed by thousands of people in the United States, China, Australia, Europe, and South America. These performances were the subject of a video work presented in the 2004 Whitney Biennial curated by Lawrence Rinder, and more recently at his solo exhibition at The Kitchen in New York curated by Debra Singer.
Currently based in South Florida, Jose Alvarez was born in 1968 in New York, and raised in Venezuela and New York. He attended the School of Visual Arts. Alvarez has also exhibited his work most recently in solo exhibitions at The Moore Space, Miami, Gavlak, West Palm Beach, as well as in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, "We Are Electric," at Jeffrey Deitch, and "Cosmic Wonder" at the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts. Alvarez's work will be included in the traveling exhibition "Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960's" at The San Antonio Museum of Art, curated by David S. Rubin.