Polish-born, New York-based artist Alexandra Pacula (b. 1979) paints works investigating a world of visual intoxication and wondrous disorientation. As the title, Vertical City, suggests the grandeur of Manhattan’s shimmering towers are on full display in 12 large-scale paintings that capture the city at night.
In each picture, Pacula confronts the viewer with a wall of skyscrapers so vast they extend beyond the horizontality of the canvases. Amid a halo of skyward reaching lights, the rows of colossal structures become symbols of power and magnificence. Each individualized edifice is its own citadel. Powered by columns of glowing windows the multitude of soaring buildings projects the vigor of a thriving society and the enchantment of a restless metropolis.
Pacula’s oeuvre is a documentation of a fleeting moment. From building windows, slow-motion slurs of lights populate the paintings in Vertical City, simulating a viewer’s shifting sight or inebriated vision. Each second slowed down and intensified, the cacophony of lights are represented by elegant dashes and dots rhythmically articulated throughout her canvases, demanding to be remembered and enjoyed. The pulsating marks and the glazes of brilliant hues that burn in these nocturnes exude a celebratory mood.
Pacula's work has been exhibited throughout the United States as well as Russia, Spain, London, and Paris. In 2010, she was the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship, as well as a one-year residency at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, sponsored by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. In 2008 Pacula won the Saatchi Showdown Competition. She received her BFA from Rutgers in 2002 & her MFA at Montclair State University in 2006.