08.05.13 Elephant Magazine - Alex Virji's solo show 'Entropical Paradise' at Man&Eve 2013


Alex Virji’s paintings re-define our conceptualisations of landscape with their strong linear forms and moody colours, which come as a sharp contrast against the oft-romanticised, undulating organic shapes of nature. Each of his works is unique for its lack of compositional focus, allowing the viewer to experience the tumultuous dynamism of the land. Simon Vickery has described Virji’s paintings as “palimpsests… that value erasure as a creative act”. Certainly, the omission of complex structures, coupled with stylistic simplicity, conveys the geographical starkness of the spaces he captures.

Virji’s work delves deep beneath the physical into the notion of psychological landscapes. He has said that “the application of paint in my work is much more deletive than the rubbing away… this creates the impression that the image is disappearing, while simultaneously bringing out this pitted texture, which is something painters intend to cover up and push back”. His paintings accentuate the subtleties separating external stimuli and internal movement, mirroring the viewer’s understanding of the world.

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