Alex Schechter (b. 1988, Moose, WY) is a sculptor based out of Philadelphia, PA. Alex holds a BA in Religious studies from Grinnell College and an MFA in Sculpture from The Maryland Institute College of Art. He has shown both Nationally and Internationally, including group shows New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Karachi, Pakistan, and solo shows Baltimore and New Orleans. He has given talks and performances at the Walters Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and has created installations for The National Museum of Wildlife Art, The Atlanta Beltine, and Mildred’s Lane. Schechter is an adjunct Faculty at Franklin and Marshall College and at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.
My work uses industrial fabrication and construction materials to create objects which explore liminal spaces. Stemming from a background in traditional carpentry and computer aided manufacturing my practice focuses on the construction of objects that rest in between architectural spaces, decorative sculpture, and presentations of conceptual research into specific phenomena. The role of the artist as an investigator is unique in part due due its freedom from traditional methodologies. Much like the scientific method, my process involves the investigation of phenomena, the acquiring new knowledge, and the correction of what is known. My process differs in that it does not favor the empirical or measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The objects created are the products of experiments which aesthetic, emotional, and rational truths compete for primacy. Often resulting in human-scale structural elements, my works sit in between the spaces of architecture and sculpture, between functional, performative, and static. They fights against taxonomies that give us easy categorization. This allows for the exploration of areas that similarly push against themselves and contain contradictory conclusions. Whether investigating historical, religious, or environmental movements, my work seeks out the uncomfortable intersections of scientific, historical/anthropological, and ritual or spiritual belief. Even (and especially) when those narratives deal with empirical or testable data, I look for the moments where the underlying humanity and their basis on random choice or personal whim, rather than any inherent reason or system, show through. While my work crosses various disciplines and materials I seek to constantly ground the conceptual with a strong focus on object. From traditional carpentry to digital sculpting to the cultivation of houseplants, I am committed to the artist's hand being present and integrated into the fabric of the work. There is a difference between seeing a thing and experiencing a thing. The creation of objects demands a concreteness and a physicality that is only understood through the sharing of space. There is truth gained in feeling the grain of wood. There is knowledge in bonded polymers, in soil, in house paint and in fabric. The mathematics creating algorithms generate the same realness as water cultivating plants. With objects, we experience an un-selfing; a moment of connection between the physicality of ourselves and the physicality of the other, a realization that we are bodies. The object-ness of my work seeks to ground the arbitrary nature of our cosmologies. It seeks to remind us of the rational tactility in an increasingly visual world.