Alexander Basil: Hiding in Plain Sight
Alexander Basil: Hiding in Plain Sight

Curator & Artists

20240323 - 20240530







X Museum is delighted to present German artist Alexander Basil’s first solo exhibition in China. Titled ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’, the exhibition is on view from March to May 2024, on the second floor at X Museum in Beijing. The exhibition includes twenty-one paintings by the artist over the past two years. ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ is an idiom indicating that despite being conspicuous, the object remains unnoticed. The idiom itself reveals a politics of seeing, further reflecting human’s desire for communication and connection.

Characterized by collage-like imagery, Basil’s works are taking elements from everyday life, and depicting the artist in analytical ways. Multiple self-portraits often appear in the same picture, creating multiple narratives. These encrypted figures not only reveal the artist’s personality but also conceal his characteristics. Basil works with oil on canvas, blending soft and warm colors with anthropomorphized portraits of self into the background. Objects and bodies are presented to the viewer through an almost voyeuristic perspective. Everyday items and domestic environments are the primary subjects in Basil’s artistic practice, with mirrors, water, candles, and bathtubs frequently appearing in his paintings. In his artwork, fragmented images of body and face are merged into everyday settings in unusual forms – becoming fluids or turning into flames. Through a surrealist approach, he constructs an ambiguous and intimate picture space, breaking the boundaries between people and their surroundings.

The works in the exhibition are consistent in exploring identity, inevitably imbued with a sense of vulnerability exposed through the artist’s exaggerated portrayal of the body. The recurring scenes of domestic environments and self-portraits in the works may reflect harsh scrutiny of everyday life, as well as deeper inner conflicts. Basil’s works often reveal aspects of his personal life, highlighting the intense conflict between self-examination and the gaze of the other. Delicate bodies and self-portraits in various forms serve as the primary clues in the artist’s works, almost inviting the viewer to engage in dialogue and analysis. However, in most of the works, the secret gaze from the ‘artist’ carries a sense of skepticism, creating an unsettling atmosphere in contrast with the rich details of mundane life.

About the Artist

Alexander Basil (b. 1997, Arkhangelsk, Russia) lives and works in Berlin. Basil has studied at The Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf and The Academy of Fine Art, Vienna. Recent exhibitions include Galerie Judin (Berlin), Commune (Vienna), Gallery Vacancy (Shanghai), Galerie Kandlhofer (Vienna), Nevven (Gothenburg). His work is included in the public collections of X Museum (Beijing).

With a prodigious attention to drawing as the basis of his practice, Basil’s compositions are constructed from exaggerated flat planes infused with heightened details of textiles, anatomical elements such as bruises and facial features, alongside various thematic objects. Predominantly focusing on self-portraiture within various iterations of the domestic space, his compositions regularly include objects such as mirrors, water, glasses, mobile phones; all of which hold both literal and figurative connotations of reflections both of our physical selves and our perceived identity.

For these introspective compositions, Basil oftentimes employs the use of multiple self-portraits into a variety of narrative characters and reflections on the self. The figures often interact with one another creating a dissected depiction of the interior psychology that explores introspection in a layered manner through both its pleasures and isolation.

About The Artists

About The Curators