Peter Alexander

(b. 1939)

LAMA set the world auction record for any work by Peter Alexander on March 5, 2017 with Untitled (1967) realizing $87,500, surpassing the previous world auction record for the artist set by LAMA in March 1, 2015 with Wedge with Puff (1968), Lot 13 in the Modern Art & Design Auction, realizing $68,750.

 

Lot 246
Peter Alexander
Palmdale
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $2,812
November 18, 2018
Lot 221
Peter Alexander
Coba IVI; Hermosa Flats II (2)
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,438
September 30, 2018
Lot 232
Peter Alexander
Angel
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $3,437
June 10, 2018
Lot 314
Peter Alexander
Angel
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
October 22, 2017
Lot 78
Peter Alexander
Untitled
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Price Realized: $87,500
March 5, 2017
Lot 174
Peter Alexander
11/11/15 (Blue Bar)
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Price Realized: $18,000
March 5, 2017
Lot 92
Peter Alexander
Universal
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $1,375
May 22, 2016
Lot 93
Peter Alexander
Mar Vista V
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,000
May 22, 2016
Lot 163
Peter Alexander
Romance VIII (Sleeping Cat)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $4,062
October 11, 2015
Lot 24
Peter Alexander
Pink One; Pink Three (2)
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $2,500
May 17, 2015
Lot 12
Peter Alexander
Green Sphere (Box)
Estimate: $7,000 - $9,000
Price Realized: $53,125
March 1, 2015
Lot 13
Peter Alexander
Wedge with Puff
Estimate: $7,000 - $9,000
Price Realized: $68,750
March 1, 2015
Lot 29
Peter Alexander
Untitled (Quilt)
Estimate: $500 - $800
Price Realized: $1,625
March 1, 2015
Lot 220
Peter Alexander
Drum
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $6,875
October 12, 2014
Lot 503
Peter Alexander
Boca Chica II
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,125
October 7, 2012
Lot 267
Peter Alexander
Title
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $1,800
October 14, 2007

About The Artist

 

Light and Space sculptor and painter Peter Alexander was born in Newport Beach, California in 1939, and though stints for schooling drew him to Philadelphia, London, and Berkeley, he was ultimately drawn back to his home city and his muse. The artist summed up his love of Los Angeles this way: “It had to do with the ocean. It had to do with climate. It had to do with the drive-ins. It had to do with all the aspects of what constitute this a place. Even though I loved being in London and Philadelphia…it never occurred to me to live in any of those places […]. It's still the same. I don't want to live anyplace else.” Alexander initially pursued a degree in architecture, studying under architects Richard Neutra and William Pereira, but ultimately received his BFA and MFA from UCLA.

Alexander’s 1966 sculpture Cloud Box perfectly encapsulates his sentiments for his city in a cast resin polyester cube, pigmented with white. In this sculpture, the surfer-artist weds his love for art and environment into a discreet object that seems to capture the California sunshine and blue sky in a box.

In the 1970s, Alexander halted work on resin sculptures and dedicated himself to painting and drawing. His works from the early 1970s glowed with swirling orange and purple sunsets. In the late 1970s and 80s, he created a series of works using velvet, vellum, mosquito nets, and other mixed media. Inspiration came while on a fishing trip off San Clemente Island: “The squid moved into the light and underneath them was a school of glistening pink fish, and deeper still were sharks, who were swimming up to get the squid. The water was phosphorescing and there were two whales outside the arc of light blowing phosphorescence like fireworks. There was so much going on, and I knew right away what I wanted to do with the velvets, because of the blackness.” During the 1990s, he concentrated on his “LAX” series of paintings, depicting the glowing nightlights of Los Angeles from above.

Alexander returned to sculpture in 2009 upon his discovery of the possibilities of polyurethane and newer advances in polyester resin that avoided the pitfalls of yellowing and brittleness. These newer sculptures emanate light just as brightly as the sculptures he first created right out of graduate school. Alexander’s work was included in the J. Paul Getty Museum’s landmark initiative begun in 2011, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, and is held in public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

 

Alexander, Peter, Dave Hickey and Naomi Vine. Peter Alexander: In this Light. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1999. 19.
“Oral history interview with Peter Alexander.” Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution, 13 Dec. 1995 – 8 May 1996.

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