Michel Alexis was born in Paris, graduated with a degree in Economics, and then moved to a secluded hamlet in the Alps where he lived for eight years. During this time he was also traveling extensively around the world.
It was while he was converting a barn into a studio that he started modeling slabs of plaster which he inscribed with imaginary signs. He drew his inspiration for this work from both indecipherable glyphs of early civilizations whose ruins he had visited and works of disabled outsider artists which he had seen at the Musee de l’Art Brut in Lausanne.
For Alexis the glyphs and the creations of outsider artists had a similar effect, conveying a compelling beauty but also a mysterious quality that defied interpretation.
He subsequently moved to the United States to join his family and embarked on a new phase of his career, replicating on large canvases the kind of art he was doing with slabs of plaster, using heavy acrylic paste. In 1991 he moved to New York where he attracted favorable critical notice for a series of shows beginning with one based on a text by Gertrude Stein (New York Times, Aug.1995), followed by Alphabets (Artnews, 2002), Subtracted Word (Art in America, 2004), and Epigrams (2006) at the Stephen Haller Gallery in New York.
His recent solo shows also include Stolen Diaries (2006, Galerie Isabelle Gounod, Paris), Syllabary (2008, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica) and Brooklyn Epigrams (2009, Heriard-Cimino Gallery, New-Orleans).
Alexis’ work is exhibited in numerous museums as well as in public and private collections worldwide.