Alexandra Grant (b. 1973) is a Los Angeles-based artist who spent significant portions of her childhood and adolescence living in Mexico, France, and Spain. She received her MFA in Drawing and Painting from California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco, CA and her BB in History and Studio at Swathmore College, PA. Grant’s works are included in the permanent collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, CA; and the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, and private collections in the U.S. and internationally. Grant’s work has been included in exhibitions at such institutions as Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Broad Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been written about in the Los Angeles Times, White Hot Magazine, Frieze, Art in America, and Artforum amongst others. Awards include the COLA Individual Artist Fellowship and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.
Grant is the creator of the grantLOVE project, which has raised funds for arts-based non-profits including; Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), Project Angel Food, Art of Elysium, 18th Street Arts Center, and LAXART. In 2017, Grant cofounded X Artists’ Books, a publishing house for artist-centered books. Publications have included collaborations with Diane di Prima, George Herms, Eve Wood, Etel Adnan and Lynn Marie Kirby among others, and are available online and in bookstores throughout Los Angeles, New York, and Paris.
The latest iteration in this “sourdough methodology” progression, as Grant calls it — in which each new project or body of work begins with a “starter” from the last — is Grant’s new art book, “LOVE: A Visual History of the grantLOVE Project,” which came out Dec. 6. The oversized coffee table book, published by Abrams’ Cameron Books, is, at its core, about love, but it’s also about art-making, community and giving back.
Love: A Visual History of the grantLOVE Project from Cameron Books chronicles the 14 years Grant has spent selling and producing artworks and editions to benefit nonprofits in the arts. The book is also a portrait of how Grant has successfully answered the question she asked herself at the very start: “I wanted to be an artist but also someone who worked to give back to civic society—how [is] it possible to be a civic artist?”
Love as a refrain - a word painted obsessively in her paintings - spreads around by osmosis. A book on happiness (on which she worked together with Keanu Reeves, her partner), kindness as a value, meditation. Artistic philanthropy. Alexandra Grant overturns the rules of attraction, she speaks of acceptance, of inner light. She is a 47-year-old visual artist (exhibiting at OCMA in Santa Ana, California).
Alexandra Grant is a Los Angeles-based visual artist who uses text and language to explore ideas of translation, identity, dis/location, and social responsibility. Grant has collaborated with author Michael Joyce, actor Keanu Reeves, artist Channing Hansen, and the philosopher Hélène Cixous, amongst others. She is also the creator of the grantLOVE project, which raises funds for arts-based non-profits, and the cofounder of X Artists’ Books, a publishing house for artist-centered books.
Alexandra Grant (MFA Painting & Drawing 2000) describes the influences and ambitions at the core of her artistic practice, from the performance of language in her paintings to her philanthropic work with the grantLOVE project.
Artist Alexandra Grant on making a career out of her lifelong obsession with words, the value of having an amateur’s mind when it comes to creative work, and refining and defining our notion of love.
Artist Alexandra Grant creates powerful, provocative work, collaged from text and shapes, paint and paper, ink and wax, lines and curves, that upends hate and chaos, transforming them into love and beauty.
Grant’s work across a wealth of media has always centered around the continuum between text and abstraction, which is to say, between information and experience, in visual art. Across painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, social systems, design and even an independent publishing company focused on artists’ books, Grant’s enduring fascination with the arcane and liminal operations of language has been central to her projects.
Alexandra Grant’s solo exhibition “Born to Love” at Lowell Ryan Projects is the latest in her ongoing series that considers the moral integrity in Sophocles’ play Antigone. The title, taken from Antigone’s statement “I was born to love not to hate,” made to her uncle Creon in response to her defiance for her slain brother — in feeling and ceremonial action — is abstracted, bifurcated and mirrored as an object amongst a field of jutting angles, immersive gestures and swells of color. Grant pivots Antigone’s ethics of care through densely collaged painting on paper.