Alejandro Rivera

My purpose as an artist is to capture creative aspects of human nature, in particular, the incessant work of transforming matter into object and object into art. For my purpose, I use tools such as imagination, sleep and memory. I paint spaces that collapse inside a universe inhabited by characters that represent the traditional themes of painting such as mythology, religion, eroticism, the relationship between life and death, etc ... The goal is to create works with a psychological and aesthetic burden that stimulates the dialogue between the observer and the work, a reflection on our corporeal existence and spirituality; the tangible and the imaginary, the individual and the collective.

SAN FRANCISCO

UNION SQUARE

 

341 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94108

Monday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm

Sunday by appointment 

415.392.2299

ST. HELENA

NAPA VALLEY

 

1328 Main Street
St. Helena, California 94574

Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday 11am - 5pm

707.200.5050

MONTECITO

SANTA BARBARA

 

1266 Coast Village Road
Santa Barbara, California 93108

Monday, Thursday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday, 11am - 5pm

Tuesday - Wednesday by Appointment

805.770.7170

Copyright 2020 Caldwell Snyder Gallery

All rights reserved.

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Biography


A virtuosic painter, Mexican artist Alejandro Rivera weaves ingeniously complex allegories for contemporary times. His source material covers vast terrarin: A single series of paintings, for example, may include references as diverse as 14th Century religious art, early photography, Pop art, Greek mythology, economic theory and ancient history. All converge to form irresistible enigmas, careful collages that invite highly imaginitive readings. Analysing his pictures, we see that nearly every element in these immensely detailed works--a drop of water, a clock, a mirror, a stone wall, a shelf, a flower, a cup--figures into a greater narrative that speaks incisively about the human condition.

Energy and mastery pervade every inch of Rivera’s canvases. He does not shy from tackling the likes of Jorge Luis Borges’ dense philosophies or Velasquez’s brilliant legacy, while on a technical level he revels in performing ever more difficult feats. Problems of transparency and shifting textures are handled with characteristic grace. His work incorporates almost every imaginable surface--fabric, wood, glass, steel, grass, marble, tile, and even paint itself. A woman’s legs meld into a stone wall; her arm follows the contours of a landscape that becomes a cloth near the bottom of the painting.

As we have come to expect from Rivera, however, extravagant display couches deep meaning. “I tried to include as many different surfaces as possible in these paintings,” he says. “Some are man-made, and some are taken from nature, but all are related to human creation... As humans, we create things that reflect who we are and what we have achieved as a society. Most objects are thus a metaphor for our existence.”

More than anything else, perhaps, these are paintings about the nature of time--which is to say that they directly address the condition of being. Rivera’s work incessantly juxtaposes the old and the new: He might drape a fresh, beautiful, languid women in crumbling surroundings, or depict a pop-culture artifact alongside an ancient relic. Says Rivera: “The depiction of humans within their constructions, and the inevitable decay of both biological and inanimate entities, are constant in my work. The reappearance of an old master painting in an unlikely place gives it new meaning, and yet also questions our ability to produce anything truly original.” Indeed--an exploration of any Rivera painting reveals a world of cyclical time, where past informs present, future informs past, and metaphors span centuries.

Solo Exhibitions: 2018 Fragments, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2012 Flora Awaken, Campton Gallery, New York, NY.  2011 Recent Works, a preview. Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende. Mexico. 2008 Still lifes and Pots, watercolors and drawings. Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende. Mexico. 2007 Recent Work, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA. 2006 Origin and destinations, Campton Gallery, New York, NY. 2004 Myths Mirrored, Trajan Gallery, Carmel, CA.         Paintings and drawings, Museum of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico. 2003 Five authors, Etchings, drawings and plates. Museum of the City of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico. 2002 Metaphors of surface, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, New York, NY. 2001 Sacred and Profane, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA. 2000 Vestiges from the city of immortals, drawings, Galería de Arte Contemporáneo S.M.A., Mexico. 1999 The divine Tragedy, Kunsthaus Santa Fé, S.M.A.. Mexico. 1998 Dreams and inclosures, Museum of the city of León, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico.         Selected Paintings, Casa de Sierra Nevada, S.M.A., Mexico. 1997 Rivera Leal, Paintings, Instituto Allende, S.M.A., Mexico. ==================================================== Selected Group Shows : 2011 Baroque Music Festival. San Miguel de Allende.México.         Ghosts and Other Nightmares, Kunsthaus Santa Fe at La Cámara S.M.A. Mexico. 2006 Paper Works, Generator Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 2005 Colecciones, Mexican art from 50 private Chicago collections, National Museum of Mexican Art Chicago, IL. 2004 Arte Americas, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, Miami, FL.         Metamorphosis, Casa Diana, San Miguel de Allende. 2003 20th Aniversary exhibition, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA & New York, NY. 2001 Introductions South, San José Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA.         Paradise found (landscapes), Museum of the City of Querétaro. Queretaro, Mexico. 2000 Mannierism Revisited, Museum of the City of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico.         Contemporary Figurative, Casa Lam, Mexico City, Mexico.         En Construcción, Kunsthaus Sta. Fé Art Space, Travelling show, Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico. 1997 Reflections on water, Instituto Allende, SMA, Mexico.         The art of drawing, Instituto Allende, SMA, Mexico. 1995 Colosio, Palacio de Minas, México. 1992 San Miguel for San Miguel, Centro Cultural El Nigromante, SMA, Mexico. Art Fairs, represented by Caldwell Snyder Gallery: 2005 Art San Francisco. 2004 Arte Americas, Miami.         Art San Francisco. 2003 Art Chicago.         Art San Francisco. 2002 Art Chicago. 2001 Art Miami.  Special Projects: Baroque music Festival, San Miguel de Allende, 2011 Official poster image.  The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary by Ramón Saldivar. Duke University Press, 2006  Book cover image. 
Press

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Selected Artworks

Solo Exhibitions: 2018 Fragments, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2012 Flora Awaken, Campton Gallery, New York, NY.  2011 Recent Works, a preview. Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende. Mexico. 2008 Still lifes and Pots, watercolors and drawings. Atelier Gallery, San Miguel de Allende. Mexico. 2007 Recent Work, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA. 2006 Origin and destinations, Campton Gallery, New York, NY. 2004 Myths Mirrored, Trajan Gallery, Carmel, CA.         Paintings and drawings, Museum of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico. 2003 Five authors, Etchings, drawings and plates. Museum of the City of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico. 2002 Metaphors of surface, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, New York, NY. 2001 Sacred and Profane, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA. 2000 Vestiges from the city of immortals, drawings, Galería de Arte Contemporáneo S.M.A., Mexico. 1999 The divine Tragedy, Kunsthaus Santa Fé, S.M.A.. Mexico. 1998 Dreams and inclosures, Museum of the city of León, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico.         Selected Paintings, Casa de Sierra Nevada, S.M.A., Mexico. 1997 Rivera Leal, Paintings, Instituto Allende, S.M.A., Mexico. ==================================================== Selected Group Shows : 2011 Baroque Music Festival. San Miguel de Allende.México.         Ghosts and Other Nightmares, Kunsthaus Santa Fe at La Cámara S.M.A. Mexico. 2006 Paper Works, Generator Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 2005 Colecciones, Mexican art from 50 private Chicago collections, National Museum of Mexican Art Chicago, IL. 2004 Arte Americas, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, Miami, FL.         Metamorphosis, Casa Diana, San Miguel de Allende. 2003 20th Aniversary exhibition, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA & New York, NY. 2001 Introductions South, San José Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA.         Paradise found (landscapes), Museum of the City of Querétaro. Queretaro, Mexico. 2000 Mannierism Revisited, Museum of the City of Querétaro, Queretaro, Mexico.         Contemporary Figurative, Casa Lam, Mexico City, Mexico.         En Construcción, Kunsthaus Sta. Fé Art Space, Travelling show, Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico. 1997 Reflections on water, Instituto Allende, SMA, Mexico.         The art of drawing, Instituto Allende, SMA, Mexico. 1995 Colosio, Palacio de Minas, México. 1992 San Miguel for San Miguel, Centro Cultural El Nigromante, SMA, Mexico. Art Fairs, represented by Caldwell Snyder Gallery: 2005 Art San Francisco. 2004 Arte Americas, Miami.         Art San Francisco. 2003 Art Chicago.         Art San Francisco. 2002 Art Chicago. 2001 Art Miami.  Special Projects: Baroque music Festival, San Miguel de Allende, 2011 Official poster image.  The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary by Ramón Saldivar. Duke University Press, 2006  Book cover image. 
Biography


A virtuosic painter, Mexican artist Alejandro Rivera weaves ingeniously complex allegories for contemporary times. His source material covers vast terrarin: A single series of paintings, for example, may include references as diverse as 14th Century religious art, early photography, Pop art, Greek mythology, economic theory and ancient history. All converge to form irresistible enigmas, careful collages that invite highly imaginitive readings. Analysing his pictures, we see that nearly every element in these immensely detailed works--a drop of water, a clock, a mirror, a stone wall, a shelf, a flower, a cup--figures into a greater narrative that speaks incisively about the human condition.

Energy and mastery pervade every inch of Rivera’s canvases. He does not shy from tackling the likes of Jorge Luis Borges’ dense philosophies or Velasquez’s brilliant legacy, while on a technical level he revels in performing ever more difficult feats. Problems of transparency and shifting textures are handled with characteristic grace. His work incorporates almost every imaginable surface--fabric, wood, glass, steel, grass, marble, tile, and even paint itself. A woman’s legs meld into a stone wall; her arm follows the contours of a landscape that becomes a cloth near the bottom of the painting.

As we have come to expect from Rivera, however, extravagant display couches deep meaning. “I tried to include as many different surfaces as possible in these paintings,” he says. “Some are man-made, and some are taken from nature, but all are related to human creation... As humans, we create things that reflect who we are and what we have achieved as a society. Most objects are thus a metaphor for our existence.”

More than anything else, perhaps, these are paintings about the nature of time--which is to say that they directly address the condition of being. Rivera’s work incessantly juxtaposes the old and the new: He might drape a fresh, beautiful, languid women in crumbling surroundings, or depict a pop-culture artifact alongside an ancient relic. Says Rivera: “The depiction of humans within their constructions, and the inevitable decay of both biological and inanimate entities, are constant in my work. The reappearance of an old master painting in an unlikely place gives it new meaning, and yet also questions our ability to produce anything truly original.” Indeed--an exploration of any Rivera painting reveals a world of cyclical time, where past informs present, future informs past, and metaphors span centuries.