A Painter's Prints: John Alexander Retrospective

"A Painter's Prints: John Alexander Retrospective" provides a quickie tour of the artist's work from 1974 to 2006. In his early years, the expressionist era, the lines of Alexander's work explode outward and slice across one another as the images consistently confront our mortality. In Feast Fit for a King, for example, black and white lines stab across an etching of two crowned birds ominously positioned on either side of a crowned skull. Even in his dramatic landscapes of the early '90s, danger is implicit in Alexander's renderings. In Honky Tonk Moon, tree limbs pierce the darkness like spears, and in sunny Chauncey's Garden, palm fronds are blades defending a verdant tangle of tropical flora. Several lush and lovely natural images from the same period — a brightly hued Parrot, for instance — show off the artist's exceptional technical skill. In his work of the mid-'90s, Alexander takes a satirical stab at authority — corporate and state (today, basically one and the same). In this period, masked faces, anthropomorphized animals, and American flags appear consistently for political comment. Raven on a Flag (2001) suggests the death of those ideals that Old Glory once represented. Also on display, the kinetic sculpture exhibit "Calder, Rickey & Di Suvero: Art in Motion," which offers one whimsical table-top mobile by Calder and two works each by of his successors in the North Gallery. (Through January 26 at Eaton Fine Art, 435 Gardenia St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-833-3134.)

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Marya Summers