Alex Kritselis is a multidisciplinary artist by training who grew up in Athens gazing at the Acropolis and dreaming of the future. In 1965 he was admitted in the Academy of Athens where he trained as a traditional sculptor to model in clay, carve marble and cast bronzes. From 1970 to 1972 he attended graduate school at the Hornsey College of Art in London, England where he received his MFA in Sculpture and Painting and was introduced to the late 20th century contemporary art movements. In 1973, with a scholarship from the Greek Academy of Arts and Sciences, he continued with postgraduate studies in sculpture at the Academia Della Belli Arti in Florence, Italy. Following his desire to be a part of the discourse surrounding contemporary issues in the visual arts in 1974, he moved to the United States. Over the past 35 years he practiced and exhibited his artwork and taught, both on the undergraduate and graduate levels, for many private and public institutions in California and Texas, including Otis College of Art and Design, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University and Texas University. In 1987 he began teaching sculpture and drawing at Pasadena City College and in 2002 he was appointed to the position of Dean of the Visual Arts and Media Studies Division where he continues to this day. He serves on the Board of the Armory Center for the Arts and is instrumental for bringing Pasadena City College into the arts and culture fabric of the Los Angeles and Pasadena communities.
Kritselis has exhibited his work internationally in more than 25 solo and 50 invitational exhibitions, and is collected internationally and known to select for his art the most appropriate medium that best serves his intentions. Over the past 10 years, along with his paintings and sculptures, he has created numerous private and public site-specific installations, video presentations, and mixed media works, often collaborating with his wife, cinematographer Joey Forsyte.
Currently Kritselis is working on a series of painted panels that constitute a new direction with earlier roots. The work plays with elements of surfaces and color as much as with an often-mysterious content. It offers an ironic interplay of traditional techniques like painting, sanding and glazing, with new notions of random access and reconfigurations of panels like playlists where changing the arrangements and sequences create new interpretations. Images gradually reveal themselves and the alphabet is inserted as core elements of the Greek language and the manifestation of Greek ideas and thought. Fragmentation, as a compositional device, becomes the connecting element that ties everything together and color is up, way up. The paintings are assembled as if pixel by pixel and, despite their apparent architectural structure, they retain their plasticity and capacity to adapt to new spaces and assume new configurations, operating as a metaphor of our world made out of fragments that multiply and connect, again and again, like molecules create living and ever more complex organisms. As art critic Betty Brown has mentioned, “Kritselis only presents his mystical data; he does not interpret them. You are left with beautifully rendered, magically considered, and narratively posed objects, set before you for meditative reflection.” Critic Larry Gipe concludes his review suggesting that “In opposition to an art world populated by artists possessing a coolly detached mindset, Kritselis warmly extends to us a passionate invitation to explore.” In the past two years he has created over 650 panels that comprise 40 new works.
In February 2011 Kritselis will open his latest solo painting exhibition at the Kaplanon 5 Gallery in Athens, Greece. In September 2011 at the Pasadena Museum of California Arts he will open a video installation, commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11. He lives and works in Los Angeles California and also maintains a studio in Athens, Greece.