Alexi Worth, “Curtain” (2020), mixed media on mesh, 68 x 48/45 inches (all images courtesy DC Moore Gallery)
Alexi Worth brings together processes many observers have regarded as ill matched in order to arrive at something new: drawing (which is the basis of all his work), stencils, and airbrush. He has depicted figures in a believable space and also portrayed shadows; silhouettes in an indeterminate, abstract space; smoke; crumpled sheets of paper; solid surfaces (such as the top of a lectern); and transparent objects (such as a wine glass). Over the years he has developed a number of recurring motifs, most often returning to the image of two different hands holding wine glasses. He has gone from multiple silhouettes demonstrating at a political rally to close-up views of a hand holding a lens cap. In 2008, after painting on canvas, he began to paint on mesh. He has tended to work with a muted color palette and paint tonally. It is apparent from all of his changes and decisions that Worth is engaged by formal issues, such as the relationship of figure, shadow, and silhouette; sequence and still-image; realism and abstraction.
While I have seen a number of his shows, I often felt that something was off in his work, though I cannot say what seemed to be missing.