Potent Stem: Alexander Carver

19 June - 21 August 2021


Potent Stem is Alexander Carver's second solo exhibition at the gallery.


The works presented in the exhibition expand upon Carver’s accumulating ecology of images, including patent documents, medieval wood cuts, depictions of bodily injury, as well as advanced bio-medical research. Utilized as raw material, these references are compressed into a painterly pictorial space through techniques of frottage and stenciling achieved by machine, hand and brush. In Potent Stem, Carver introduces processes of cross-species hybridization through cellular transplantation. A procedure called decellularization employs spinach and parsley leaves as scaffolding for human stem cells, so that they may ultimately become a piece of your damaged heart someday.


Two separate and contrasting spaces within the exhibition demarcate distinct modes of painting. In a conventionally white space, a lush and decorative botanical theme persists threaded with references to semio-capitalist reproduction in the form of bio-medical patents for advanced grafting procedures and tools, and diagrammatic marginalia that refer to the implicit architectural possibilities of such research when scaled. Conversely, a black room contains paintings consumed with references to corporal punishment and bizarre medieval experiments born out of the necessity of medical intervention due to the systematization of amputation and disfigurement under pre-modern legal systems.

Alexander Carver (b. 1984) lives and works in New York. Carver is a graduate of Cooper Union, New York and received his Masters of Fine Arts from Columbia University, New York. Alexander Carver’s work has been exhibited and screened in international venues and in festivals including Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin  (2021); Helena Anrather, New York (2021); Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (2019); Tate Modern (2018); Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2018); Lincoln Center, New York (2016); Berlinale, Berlin (2015); Biennale of Moving Image, Geneva (2014); Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne (2014); BAM, New York (2014); Locarno International Film Festival, Locarno (2013); Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver (2013). He will participate in the Timisoara Biennial, Romania, in November 2021.

Alexander Carver’s work is in the collections of Ringier Collection, Zurich; Langen Foundation, Neuss; GOME Art Foundation, Hong Kong.


Alexander Carver and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler would like to thank the students and professors, specifically Dipl.-Ing. Kiriaki Athanasopulu and Prof. Dr. Ralf Kemkemer at Reutlingen University for sharing their research, plant decelluralization materials, and knowledge in plant decelluralization. 


Text by Natasha Stagg for
Alexander Carver | Potent Stem



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