Vikky Alexander  /  Nordic Rock

After a retrospective in 2019 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vikky Alexander presents Nordic Rock, a precious, fantasy-rich installation that contrasts the brutalist and imposing architecture of the Fonderie Darling’s hall. 

The industrial setting harbours fragile sculptures representing highly stylized elements of design furniture, such as a bed, a chair, a night table. Made of dichroic glass, an iridescent material that reflects light in a spectrum of colour, these minimal and extremely delicate sculptures are presented on pedestals arranged like islands in the space so as to reinforce their inaccessibility. Akin to jewels or precious stones capturing and reflecting light, these non-functional objects aim to captivate and create desire as they attract viewers and hold their gaze. Their shimmering, transparent surface subtly plays with the patina and architecture of the heritage building. The height of luxury, these works reveal the tremendous tension between the former working-class neighbourhood and the current, massive real estate development intended for a wealthy population.

Staggered with the sculptures and structuring the exhibition, two imposing vinyl murals of photo collages stand opposite each other, covering the full height of two wall sections. Composed of images gleaned from magazines, the murals use collage to associate views of dramatic or sublime landscapes with close-ups of textures, simulations of organic or vegetal matter.

Through these immense windows that open onto fantastical horizons, through the distortion of scale and the games of make-believe, the artist highlights the marketing strategies of appropriating and substituting nature used by the real estate and interior design markets. She also raises the question of authorship by reappropriating and recontextualizing images.

Alexander is a conceptual artist whose work explores the culture of consumerism and fantasy. Her work is distinctive in its ability to examine the world of illusion and material desire by using the language of architecture and design, borrowing from the imagery of high fashion and design magazines to address the themes of desire and commodification and the ways in which society projects us into these unreal environments. Playing with reflective materials and optical illusions and using strategies that trigger unconscious motives, the artist creates minimalist interventions in photography and sculpture.

Caroline Andrieux
translated by Oana Avasilichioaei

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The exhibition is made possible thanks to a generous sponsorship by NumérArt. 



Vikky Alexander

Après avoir complété un BFA au Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), Vikky Alexander débute sa carrière à New York au début des années 1980, travaillant dans un contexte des plus stimulants. Par la suite, dans les années 1990, Vikky Alexander est revenue au Canada, pour enseigner à L’University of Victoria, à Vancouver. En 1995, elle a participé au Canada Council Paris Studio Residency, et en 2009 à la résidence La Cité internationale des arts, à Paris.

Au cours de sa carrière, Vikky Alexander a exposé son travail à l’international et dans les plus grandes institutions new-yorkaises, notamment au New Museum (1985), à la Dia Art Foundation (1988) et au Whitney Museum of American Art (1989). En 2018, elle a présenté Vikky Alexander : The Spoils of the Park au Canada House, à Londres. L’an dernier, la Vancouver Art Gallery a présenté Extreme Beauty, la première exposition rétrospective de son travail. Artiste canadienne acclamée à l’international, Vikky Alexander vit et travaille aujourd’hui à Montréal. Elle est représentée par les galeries Cooper Cole à Toronto, Downs & Ross à New York, Trépanier Baer à Calgary et par la Wilding Cran Gallery à Los Angeles.