During his trips to the United States he bonded with jazz music, finding within it what he describes as the direct opposite to the puritanical culture otherwise pervasive throughout the U.S. This aesthetic emerges in his work through the concept of incarnation, the pursuit of immediacy and eroticism. His practice also puts particular emphasis on the role of improvisation in abstraction.
Kirili exhibited his first sculpture in 1972, and gained steady support for his work, landing major exhibitions in Paris and New York -- including at MoMA, and the inaugural show at PS1.
Kirili continuously experiments with materials and processes, developing such techniques as forging (in iron , aluminum, bronze or welded-steel ), modeling (resin, clay, terra-cotta, different waxes), coloring , and drawing.
In 1980 he moved to New York City, to the loft on White Street which he regularly opens to musicians and dancers. The first performance between a musician and his work featured soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy and Kirili's Commandment sculptures at the Thread Waxing Space, in 1992.
Kirili continues to host regular performances at his studio between free jazz musicians and his sculpture, and the work of other visual artists, including his wife, the photographer Ariane Lopez-Huici. Among the other musicians to perform with his work include Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Joseph Jarman, and many more.
Alain Kirili's work can be found in public collections throughout the United States and France, Germany, and Spain. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Musée d'Orsay, Brooklyn Museum, Musée Rodin, Sonnabend Gallery, Jewish Museum, Musée National d'Art Moderne, and many more.
Kirili has taught at The School of Visual Arts, New York, published numerous critical essays, as well as curated exhibitions.
"Jazz and Sculpture are created urgently. Extreme risk is the minimum condition of this creation, the absolute measure of the musician and sculptor. Revival of verticality in my sculpture is linked to statuary, music and dance." - Alain Kirili