Peter Alexander (1939-2020) was an American artist of the Light and Space movement, known for his resin sculptures, LAX paintings, and his L.A. Riots series. Born in Los Angeles in 1939, Alexander came out of the artistic movement in Southern California in the 1960s and was best known for his resin sculptures from that period into the 1970s.
Trained as an architect under Louis Kahn, Alexander went on to work with Richard Neutra in Los Angeles before pursuing a graduate degree in art at UCLA in the mid-1960s. It was during this time that Alexander first began experimenting with cast resin, initially using it to repair his surfboard. This relatively new material, developed by the aerospace industry, provided Alexander with a medium to make rational, minimalist sculptures in a time of radical social and political change. From 1965 to 1972 the artist fabricated dozens of formal cubes, squares, wedges, and pyramids in hues that reflected the smoggy skies of Los Angeles at that time.
Alexander’s later work encompassed painting, watercolors, and prints and continued to respond to the times. His Riots series featured aerial views of Los Angeles, painted in black and white, through pockets of smoke from riot-induced fires below. Subsequent series focused on various parts of Southern California, travels in India, Alaska, and Mexico, and on California’s ubiquitous palm trees.