Gill Alexander is a self taught, figurative artist who works exclusively on paper. His highly realistic drawings are filled with great detail. Many are painstakingly constructed from arrays of tiny black stippling dots. Gill also works with markers. The marker drawings have a more painterly feel but, nevertheless, contain just as much intricacy. All of Gill’s work is labor intensive and some drawings can take up to 300 hours to complete.
Gill Alexander was born in Durham, North Carolina and grew up in an academic household in the suburbs of Albany, New York. Gill moved to Portland, Oregon to study English literature at Reed College where he later graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1984. Gill was drawn to comic books at a young age and his one time youthful desire to write them eventually transformed into an ambition to draw. His main inspiration at the time was Jennifer Bartlett’s 1976 Rhapsody installation, which he regarded as a conceptual graphic novel. Gill’s drawing sequences were meant to function both as published book as well as gallery displayed art. Much of this work was shown at Portland’s PDXS Gallery in 1986.
From 1986 on Gill’s work has been almost exclusively figurative. The paintings of Robert Birmelin were a formative influence, particularly after Gill moved to Chicago in 1987. The epistemology of seeing and the syntax through which one learns to engage the world started to become the subject. Gill’s ongoing Figurines Series features isolated figures, presented without background. Other, full frame drawings present similar figures caught at moments in which they are engaged in heightened visual interactions.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Gill’s work was shown in galleries in 24 states in all regions of the US. He has had several one person shows, many of which were at large State Universities. Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio were a few. Just before relocating to Miami Beach in 1992 Gill became a featured artist under contract with Goforth Rittenhouse Galleries in Philadelphia.
Since that time Gill’s role as caretaker during a particularly devastating family illness has meant that he has been less active in showing. But, as this illness has receded somewhat, Gill has actively resumed the process of drawing and exhibiting. Gill is currently represented by Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts in Lake Worth, Florida. Gill works from his home in Miami Beach.