Alex K. Krueger (CROP) "Cadaver One"
Vertical Gallery is proud to present ‘Cadaver One,’ the debut solo exhibition from Chicago-based painter and glassmaker Alex K. Krueger, a.k.a. CROP.
‘Cadaver One,’ which runs from March 6 – 27 at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location, assembles 41 new pieces extending CROP’s abstract, deeply intuitive technique to mediums including canvas, paper, three-dimensional glass sculpture and found foam board. ‘Cadaver One’ opens on Saturday, March 6th from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
‘Cadaver One’ signals a bold new phase in CROP’s evolution, fusing the hyperkinetic shapes, forms and colors of his previous efforts with his roots in professional glassmaking to produce a series of abstract yet character-driven mixed-media pieces, all directly inspired by the artist’s own experiences, emotions and relationships.
“Canvas and paper are still present, but my main medium is glass, and painting on found objects. I find ways to work with the means I have, and still get dynamic pieces using unconventional techniques and processes,” CROP says. “My work is in the spirit of anarchy and punk rock culture — making something, not controlling it. Everything in society is so regimented and civilized. These pieces are a way to express our more uncivilized parts.”
The title ‘Cadaver One’ underscores CROP’s creative rebirth. “It’s the beginning of the end for me. Now I can move to another place after the conclusion of this show,” he explains. “I hope people find something here that resonates — something they can feel close to, or that they can relate to, or something they can internalize. Maybe they’ll understand what they need to kill inside themselves to move on to greener pastures.”
The CROP moniker mirrors Krueger’s no-nonsense approach to his craft. “I liked how the name sounded. It’s quick, easy, a little bit aggressive,” he says. “Each piece of art is the harvest. You plant a seed and you cultivate it: no process, no bullshit, no MSG. It is what it is.”
A Local of the Midwest, Raised on Chicago Culture. CROP took his earliest inspiration from the pages of Juxtapoz Magazine, which his mother purchased for him each month to encourage his artistic growth. After graduating high school in 2007, he turned to glassmaking, interning at the now-defunct Chicago Hot Glass before continuing his formal training at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Following a stint in Seattle as a production artist, CROP returned to Chicago, redirecting his energy into painting and drawing.
‘Cadaver One’ follows nearly three years after CROP first exhibited at Vertical Gallery as one-third of the group show ‘Counterparts,’ alongside fellow Chicago up-and-comers Joseph Renda, Jr. and Pizza In The Rain. CROP has also participated in group shows across the Chicagoland area as well as in Michigan, since mid-2015. He also was the Recipient of the Bombay Sapphire Artisan series award and showcased his work at Art Basel in 2019. Crop has taught glass art at various educational facilities, most recently being Firebird Community Arts.
Alex K. Krueger, a.k.a. CROP
March 6 – 27, 2021
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Ave., Chicago