Alex “Hense” Brewer opens “Material” a solo exhibition at Detroit’s Library Street Collective this Friday. The exhibition features a range of new work from large panel paintings to smaller paper pieces. Hense has focused a large part of the year to painting large scale murals internationally has taken some time off to be in the studio preparing this exhibition which directly references some of his outdoor practices. “Material” incorporates wood and painted sculptural elements into his panels, this added layer of shapes and screwed pieces onto the paintings add yet another contrast in texture and color in his work. A brut aesthetic is already prevalent in the application of paint in Alex’s work, the raw screwed on wood shapes further this dialog of texture in the panels. While at times muddying down the palette, they also enhance the color around them through the contrast of raw untreated wood. Its important to watch an artist continue to expand upon his own personal mark making even at the expense of what we might have become accustomed to seeing from the artist. By taking this direction forward “Material” takes a stance and the artist does not remain content with his own status quo. If you are in Detroit make sure to go see the show in person, as i have no doubt it will be worth your time.


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.

“Material” will be on view at Library Street Collective (1260 Library Street, Detroit) from October 23 – December 20, 2015. For more information, visit or e-mail for an exhibition catalog.