A solo exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts, 13th March – 23rd May 2010.
The Connoisseur might be defined as a laconic art historian, and the art historian as a loquacious connoisseur. Erwin Panofsky, Meaning in the Visual Arts, 1955.
The Connoisseurs is an exhibition defined by the seemingly disparate series’, collections and groupings within it. All of these works reference cultural sophistication or a refined taste through their materials, execution or selection. In a mannered fashion they borrow an aspect of the classical art form: portrait or still-life image, the outdoor or the domestic scale object.
The Connoisseurs presents an awkward marriage of numerous distinct references: digital technology, food science, community craft workshops, speculative fiction and macro-economics. The title alludes to both the professional and amateur status of a connoisseur.
“In Alex Frost’s drawings photographs are transcribed as a system of marks plotting areas of light and shadow recorded in the pixels of the image. A pattern of zeroes, dashes and crosses laid out on squared paper describe a cluster of flowers in bloom, a profile or the unique arrangement of features and details of clothing that forms a portrait. A series of self-portraits (Blind drawings 2006-7) are stippled by puncturing the paper with pinholes. Bronze, silver and gold paint is pressed into the back of the drawing so that the holes admit rich, metallic colour and Frost’s image appears to float to the surface of the paper. Eyes closed and head slightly turned or tilted away he seems intent on absence, a blank subject present as a gilded apparition, a relief, a death mask.”
From the essay ‘Nullius in Verba – The work of Alex Frost’, Michelle Cotton, 2008.