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Looking East Community Gallery Exhibit Opening

January 12—11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Looking East

Artist: Jay Alexander

On exhibit January – March 15, 2019. Exhibit opening January 12, 11am-1pm.

Jay Alexander’s paintings present a contemporary reinterpretation of several dominant themes in classical Chinese painting: the plum, orchid, flowering plants, birds, and landscapes. He brings his experience and technique to these ancient venerable genres, depicting the above subjects in the moods, seasons and light of his environment. These subjects are expressed through his deep attachment to the natural world filtered through a vast body of theory with metaphysical underpinnings—that art is a spontaneous expression, immediate and irrevocable as life itself, where the essential truth of a painted object is the operation of the spirit (Chi) in life movement (Zheng tung).

Plum Blossom. Jay Alexander

This approach to painting is engendered and fostered by the artist’s media—a very porous rice paper combined with the drips, washes, ink blots and calligraphic strokes of ink and watercolor. The washes of transparent color capture light and atmosphere, the bleeding of the rice paper adds expression and accidental effect: lotus pods leak out ink, blossoms dissolve into branches and mist, birds gaze into the diffuse sunlight in a watery, vague environment.

Form and dissolution—nothing is fixed or stable in this world of water, ink and paper—layers dissolve into one another and the atmosphere envelopes the subjects in a vibrant, fluid, luminous world. Jay Alexander has expanded and reinterpreted these genres into a personalized vision of his environment using the simple media of brush, ink, and watercolor

About Jay Alexander

Jay Alexander studied Far Eastern languages, art, and architecture at Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts. After finishing his studies, he started a small graphics company, and for many years designed and illustrated medical and science college textbooks and developed accompanying animations. Drawing on this graphics experience and his studies in Far Eastern art, he has devoted himself to expression with the simple media of ink, watercolor, and rice paper in the literati tradition of the scholar-painter, while incorporating aspects of contemporary graphic design. He has exhibited his work in many local venues in the Amherst area and has been selected in several juried shows. His work has appeared in many literary/art publications—The Shanghai Literary Review, Remembered Arts, The Hopper Magazine and the A3 Review.


January 12
11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Hitchcock Center for the Environment


Hitchcock Center for the Environment
845 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
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Hitchcock Center for the Environment