Alex Lukas‘ Recent Works show at Steven Zevitas Gallery (April 19th-June 2nd 2012) in Boston consists of five new large-scale paintings on paper (the largest measures at twelve feet in length) and a group of work utilizing appropriated book pages. This body of work continues the Lukas’ exploration of our current cultural condition through the lens of the landscape. Executed primarily in ink, acrylic, watercolor and gouache, the artist also uses the process of silk-screening for certain elements of each work.
Thomas Cole’s well-known painting “River in the Catskills,” which depicts a pastoral landscape with a small train slicing through the scene in the middle ground, is a harbinger of things to come in the story of man’s attempt to gain control of nature. In many ways, Lukas’ landscapes, which combine sites real and imagined – with a healthy nod towards Hollywood and art history – tell the end of the story, as man-made structures yield back to nature. The works pivot on series of dichotomies: violence and quietude; the man made and the natural; hope and a profound sense of despair. They also grapple with ideas about national morality and societal fragility.