Alex Bag received her BFA from Cooper Union and had her first solo exhibition at 303 Gallery only three years after graduating. Her work has been shown at the Gagosian Gallery, P.S. 1, Tate Gallery, Centre Georges Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and numerous spaces internationally.
She has performed at The Knitting Factory and lectured at Yale University, Parsons School of Design, Cal Arts, and The Getty Research Institute. In the December 2004 issue of Artforum, David Rimanelli remarked that “Alex Bag belongs on the Top Ten every year, whatever she does.” Bag has also shown with Galerie Almine Rech in Paris in 1999, American Fine Arts Co. in New York (2000 and 2002), The Whitney Museum of American Art (2009), and was represented by Elizabeth Dee Gallery, where she exhibited in 2004 and 2009, until late 2011.
She is currently represented by Team Gallery, Inc., where she had a solo exhibition in March 2012. This exhibition, which was in part a collaboration with Patterson Beckwith, featured compilations from Bag’s public access television program from 1994 to 1997 with a “hodge-podge of the artists’ punk-rock fueled antics interspersed with clips that resemble The Soup-style recaps of the week’s talk shows.”
Her work is largely influenced by television, which she finds to be “the most awful thing. But I can’t stop watching it. It’s so expected that that’s what your leisure time is supposed to be–that the accepted way to spend your free time is just to be an absorber, a zombie. I feel compelled to talk back–to respond in some way as a human being” (Frankel, David,”TV, or not TV: David Frankel on Alex Bag”). Her father worked in advertising and Bag sometimes visited his sets as a child, which she regarded as “something just as exciting and important as traditional kinds of fine art.” Her mother also worked in television as the host of popular children’s program The Carol Corbett Show, later renamed The Patchwork Family. Bag appeared on the show at the age of four to interview a monkey.
Though similar to Pop Art in its appropriation of pop culture and mass media, Bag adds political criticism to her work. “There are so many good things about Pop art, but other things I think are awful. The Pop artists accepted their place and time and allowed themselves to reference the world around them, look at it, be inspired by it, examine it, not be so isolated from it, not be in an ivory tower. But at the same time they limited themselves by being so much about surface gloss. They repeat popular imagery without saying anything, really; it’s devoid of politics” (Frankel, David,”TV, or not TV: David Frankel on Alex Bag”).
New York, 1969