Engaging phenomenological discussions in her painting and drawing practice, Alexandra Giannell investigates topics of identity, mass-displacement, imprisonment, genocide, and afterlife. Interrogating systemic structures that restrict and reshape the body, vision, and perception, Giannell’s works often operate as deep and expansive fields recording time, labor, and physicality, utilizing haptic mark-making processes to interweave elements of presence and absence within the language of abstraction.
Giannell was an Artist in Residence with the Marek Maria Pienkowski Foundation in Poland researching the Holocaust as well as the inaugural Artist in Residence with the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project teaching in men's prisons. Her work has received multiple awards, including the Florita Eichel Memorial Purchase Award from the Evansville Museum of Art, History + Sciences and the Foy Gilmore Goodwyn Memorial Award from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Giannell's work has been exhibited in solo and group shows nationally and internationally, in venues such as Galeria Pieńków, Manifest Drawing Center, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. She recently presented as a visiting artist with the University of Delaware as well as in the 2020 SECAC and 2021 FATE conferences.
Giannell is an Assistant Professor of Painting + Drawing in the Department of Art + Design at Utah Valley University, and holds a diploma in Visual Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, a BFA in Painting with a minor in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a MFA in Painting from Clemson University.
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