After a retrospective in 2019 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, in the city that first discovered her talent, Vikky Alexander, now a Montreal resident, presents Nordic Rock, an invaluable and fantastical exhibition created in dialogue with the Fonderie Darling’s massive hall.
The industrial setting harbours fragile sculptures representing highly stylized elements of design furniture, such as a bed, a chair, a night table. Installed on pedestals and made of dichroic glass, an iridescent material that reflects a spectrum of colour, these extremely delicate sculptures attract viewers and hold their gaze. Like jewels or precious stones capturing and reflecting light, these non-functional objects have a sole aim: to captivate and to create desire.
In a staggered arrangement with the sculptures and conceived as structural elements of 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 combine views of dramatic landscapes with close-ups of textures, simulations of organic or vegetal matter. Through these immense windows that open onto sublime 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.
Vikky Alexander is a conceptual artist whose work explores the culture of consumerism and fantasy. Her work borrows 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.
translated by Oana Avasilichioaei
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The exhibition is made possible thanks to a generous sponsorship by NumérArt, as well as the support of Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Vikky Alexander’s work is characterized by the artist’s ongoing consideration of illusion and material desires framed with the language of architecture and design. Since the early 1980’s, Alexander has investigated culture’s appropriation and substitution of nature as it is manifest in mass market interior design items, such as photomurals of scenic landscapes, wood veneers and decorative mirrors. Her photographs, collages, drawings, installations and sculpture recognize the artificial as a place for utopian fantasy, a surreal space where the natural is recreated in an improved or even perfected form. Through her work, she examines how the formal signs of photography, architecture as well as interior and graphic design reveal and shape meaning in our contemporary culture, bringing to the fore discussions of capitalism, commodification and desire within the parameters of fantasy and cultural longing.
Alexander recently moved to Montreal after being part of the Vancouver art community for 25 years. She is represented by galleries Cooper Cole in Toronto, Downs & Ross in New York, Trépanier Baer in Calgary, as well as by Wilding Cran Gallery in Los Angeles.