Alexis Arnold is an artist based in Oakland, CA. Her sculptural, installation, and mixed-media artwork explores the perception and experience of light and color, geologic process, the visualization of time, and material. These concepts are illustrated through works that alter optically, challenge material expectations, and reference geologic timescales and forms.
Arnold’s Crystallized Book Series addresses the materiality versus the text or content of the book. The crystals remove the text and solidify the books into geologic sculptures. The books, manipulated with water, then frozen with crystal growth, have become artifacts or specimens imbued with the history of time, use, and memory. The crystals and book shapes spark a sense of wonder akin to a great piece of literature, like some of the titles she uses, but certainly not all, such as an obsolete software manual or an old phone book. The series was prompted by repeatedly finding boxes of discarded books, by the onset of e-books, and by the shuttering of bookstores, as well as the nature of the materials themselves (malleable books + crystal). While the series began in 2011 as a reaction to the vulnerability of printed media, she sees an apparent return to the cultural value of printed media while working on the series over the past 9 years.
Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Aspen Art Museum, Napa Valley Museum, Whatcom Museum, Beaux-Arts Mons (Belgium), Atlanta Airport, Bergdorf Goodman, di Rosa, The New York Hall of Science, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. She holds an MFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute, as well as BA in art from Kenyon College in Ohio.