On the surface of the canvas, ruled like a giant notebook, I build up thin layers of gesso, paint and paper. Then I trace imaginary signs with an engraving tool which cuts through the layers. After that I will cover the dry, scorched surface with oil glazes which will bury or highlight parts of it.
“The surface is not that of literature” writes Barry Schwabsky, “but is thick with the aroma of writing. Alexis’s graphic line twists and spirals fitfully through this writerly atmosphere like a moth around a flame, sometimes gliding atop the surface but just a often gouging into it to raise scar-like passages—traces of a strangely delicate violence”. The painted ground will at places appear through the layers; also the transparency and sheen of the surface will play against the furrowed lines.
“In Alexis's paintings, an occasional streak of light will break through the veils of muted color like the icy fingers of real experience tearing aside the curtains of memory” notes Eleanor Heartney.