Alexandra Metcalf and the totalities of current life

Alexandra Metcalf, “Labile”, 2023. Oil and decoupage on linen in artist frame, 153cm x 122cm. Courtesy of the artist and Ginny on Frederick, London

Complexity rules the art of Alexandra Metcalf the same way it rules the cycle of life. We live through infancy, we come of age, we mature and die: a process that could be effortless, were it not for the emotional, bodily, and semantic obstacles we or others put in front of us. Peter Wessel Zapffe said humans are overequipped for this life – too clever for what they need to go through – but forgot about the pleasure of being lost, wondering. Standing in front of a Metcalf painting, there is a certain feeling of wonder, its richness taking you by surprise.

Born in the UK in 1992, growing up between London and Florida, Metcalf currently lives in New York, managing a studio in her home. Interested in crafts from a young age, she toys with woodworking and stained glass for her sculpture beside her painting and assemblage. She told me she sometimes wishes she lived in Los Angeles, [1] where one can weld metal or fire glass in their backyard without running into major trouble with the law.

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