I don’t think of these paintings as miniature. They are not small versions of bigger, more real paintings. They are their own. They are Morse code from far away and they make you get close to something small without being able to zoom in. They are, as we are, controlled by math.
I don’t think of these paintings as scenes. They are reliquaries, holding the remains of something. They are smog, clouds made up of what happens on earth, where a single blue dot could be the moon or a drop of rain, and a single white line could be a cloud or a spider’s web. They make you look up to and down at things.
I don’t think of these paintings as symbols. They are me needing to see a familiar thing again for the first time. They are hieroglyphs not of physical things but afterimages of afterimages of afterimages, and so on and so on.
I don’t think of these paintings as surreal. They are bouillon cubes gradually unfolding in someone’s mouth, in a cup of water, in a puddle on the street, in a vast ocean, or on a planet that has no water.
I think about the number four. And things that are on all fours, how they exist and move about. Things like tables, as places to eat or as shelters from earthquakes and shooters, as gum receptacles. And things like horses, or a man pretending to be a horse with a child on his back or a woman looking for lost jewelry on the floor.
I think about when one of the four is taken away, when tilts happen, when horizon lines change, when my front door won’t close anymore, and my paintbrush rolls off the table because the foundation of my place is sinking on one side.
I’ve been thinking about the moment I realized I had been painting on uneven land this whole time. Like the moment your eye has become so sharp you can get a measurement nearly exact without a tool. Like the moment you lose your sense of taste and realize you’ve been eating objects this whole time.
I’ve also been thinking about the number three. Three is the charm. Three is a holy number. The father, the son and the holy ghost. Is four us? This will be my third show with Elyse and Eric. I turn thirty-three this month. My nephew turns four a week after this show opens. This is a moment between three and four.
I’ve been thinking about the number four, and the next and the next. And the last before the last.
When a four-legged table loses one leg, there doesn’t seem to be a point to its existence anymore. But when a table can stand on two legs, it is miraculous.
–Alexandra Noel, 2022
Alexandra Noel lives and works in Los Angeles. Her first solo exhibition with the gallery was in 2016, entitled From Rafters, followed by There’s Always Something (2019). Across these shows and others, Noel has remained committed to small format painting, while achieving expansive scale and interrogating various modes of perception. For Three, Four, Noel will also show new examples of her sculpture, as well as photography and video, longstanding practices the artist has rarely exhibited in dialogue with her painting. A new book by Noel, Thirty Stuffed Grape Leaves, published by Derosia, Holoholo, and Apogee, will also debut during this exhibition. Part of a series entitled On All Fours, Thirty Stuffed Grape Leaves is the second installment, after 2020’s Ricky Rides Rick. Noel’s work is currently on view at the FRONT International Triennial in Cleveland. Other recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris (2022); Antenna Space, Shanghai (2021); and Freedman Fitzpatrick, Paris (2019). Recent group presentations include Chris Sharp Gallery, Los Angeles (2022); Office Baroque, Antwerp (2022, 2021); X Museum, Beijing (2021); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2020); and Château Shatto, Los Angeles (2019).