Alexis McGrigg

  • , Solitude: A Moment in Blue 2, 2021
    Procion dye on canvas
    177.8 x 198.1 cm
    68 x 56 in

In her current body of work, Alexis continues expounding on the narrative of Blackness that is the foundation of her conceptual ideas. For her, Blackness manifests itself in three forms: figurative abstraction, the notion of spirituality and its relationship to Being, and celestial & metaphysical space. Her narrative of Blackness asserts that in order for Black people of all descent to come into being, they must travel to and from a larger theoretical plane, the Further or the space of All Being. Her artwork is a visual examination of their mode of travel, how they venture to and from “Home”, and the planes through which they move. Alexis uses celestial space as a metaphor for the autonomy of Blackness, redefining its agency as a fixed idea or way of being and leaning into its fluidity and ability to be more complex than we allow ourselves to understand. With this in mind, on a larger scale, It – Blackness, having its foundation in the body and the black experience, has the ability to manifest as an intangible space that releases its dependence on the physical body. Through her paintings, she seeks to allow the viewer a wider perspective of the vastness of our existence.   

Alexis employs an interdisciplinary approach to examine these concepts, utilizing painting, drawing, transmedia, and installation. Her choice of materials greatly impacts the visual language she is able to achieve within a work. For example, her paintings utilize layers of rich fabric dyes that have soaked into drenched watercolor paper and canvas. The many layers of dye allow her to push into the surface imagery, creating depth and what she thinks of as an opening into the picture plane. Similarly, the use of layers in her experimental videos imply what can be construed as a portal or expansive opening into an alternate world. While the method of application may differ, the concepts and exploration remain the same, linking a visual thread through the chosen media.