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Open Tabs
Alex Leav
February 14, 2022 - February 28, 2022

Ki Smith Gallery is thrilled to announce Open Tabs, a solo exhibition of new works by Alex Leav, curated by Dana Notine. Presenting Leav’s recent inquiries into the internet psyche, the artist deals in paint, ink, and the detritus of contemporary culture. The title refers to the phenomenon of “open tabs,” or the status of having multiple pages open on one’s internet browser. Its ubiquity among those raised in the Internet Age reflects a scattered state of collective being, marked by sprawling interests, attention deficits, and expectations bred for instant gratification by being perpetually online. 

Robert Rauschenberg wrote that painting relates to both art and life: “Neither can be made (I try to act in the gap between the two.)” This sentiment resonates with Leav, who uses a combination of paint and printed media to create historiographic core samples of a life lived on the web. The zeitgeist Leav captures in her compositions reflects the erratic, manic state of persistent over-stimulation brought about by perpetual streams of information. Much like the discarded boxes, clothing, and papers Rauschenberg upcycled for use in his work, Leav’s practice culls memes from the virtual spaces of the internet; repurposing the detritus of the studio floor to craft satirical explorations of what it means to be human in the internet age. 

ALEX LEAV received her BFA in History from University of Michigan, with a focus on the twentieth-century of the United States. Her experience as a researcher, motivated to isolate the icons and events which mark bygone eras, extends to her art practice, through which she culls memes, images, and anecdotes from her life to create compositions that mirror the peculiarities of a digital existence. 

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