OCTOBER 23 — DECEMBER 20, 2015


Detroit-based contemporary & fine art gallery, Library Street Collective, is pleased to announce Material, its next solo exhibition with internationally-recognized artist Alex Brewer, also known as HENSE. The Atlanta-based artist will unveil a vivid collection of abstract mixed-media paintings inspired by his installations and sculptural explorations as well as works on paper ranging from small, intimate drawings of paint, ink and graphite to screen prints.  

“Material is an important part of what I do creatively,” Brewer says. From wielding plywood, ink, screws and graphite to house, acrylic and spray paints, Brewer creates his vibrant pieces, this time, incorporating wooden shapes, inspired by his extensive anthology of public works. “These new paintings on panel are really similar to a collage-based process in that I’m adding and subtracting the forms until I get to a finished state,” he says. Brewer allows the mediums to speak for themselves and remain transparent in the new collection, while steadily maintaining his formalist focus on color principles, line quality, space, shape and scale. “Unapologetic material use or application of paint and material has been a constant theme in my work for the past few years,” he says.

Achieving acclaim and notoriety as a graffiti artist in Atlanta as a teenager in the nineties, Brewer, 36, has evolved creatively, with little formal art education but two decades of experience working outdoors and on large-scale public pieces. The streets became his schooling and, over time, the artist reformed his idiosyncratic style eventually transitioning his technique into the studio. “I look at those early days as a form of education for me because I was able to experience something that not all artists experience,” he says. “Graffiti was a learning tool for me.”

In his hometown of Atlanta, Brewer has exhibited in the High Museum of Art and is part of their permanent collection. He also created a multi-faceted exhibition for Alabama's Wiregrass Museum of Art, both inside and outside of the space. Brewer’s commissioned work continues to span worldwide including captivating site-specific mural installations for Taiwan’s “Very Fun Park” via the Fubon Art Foundation, a grain silo in Northam, Western Australia curated by FORM, the ISIL Institute in Peru, the Frank Gehry-designed Facebook Inc. Global Headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Apple Inc.’s retail store barricade in Miami, Florida and most recently, an apartment building facade in Cologne, Germany as part of CityLeaks Festival. He has murals in Detroit including pieces in "the Z" Parking Garage and his “Circles, Dots, Lines and Shapes” mural, covering over six stories at the historic Madison Building, both curated by Library Street Collective in partnership with Bedrock Real Estate Services. 
For more information or to receive a catalog of available works, please contact

The work of Alex Brewer incorporates line, shape and gesture to create abstract compositions that are invigorated by brilliant color. A pure abstractionist, the artist has created a multitude of works over the span of 20+ years with an unending aspiration towards formal and compositional exploration. Using rollers, spray and house paint, plywood and exposed screws, the complexity of Brewer’s work belies its raw and energetic system of creation. Many of his larger works are composed of countless layers of flat color fields and shapes, textured brushwork, dripping spray and diluted latex, mercurial lines and polka dots for maximal works that never go too far: “I’d like to continue to push contemporary painting and what that can be. I’m focused on pushing myself as well as the viewer.” 

Sara Nickleson | Library Street Collective |