Shortly after graduating from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Vikky Alexander made her 1983 entry into the international art world while living in New York by participating in photo historian Abigail Solomon Godeau’s exhibition The Stolen Image and its Uses. For over a decade she was active in a circle of New York artists that merged the critical ideas of Minimalism and Conceptual Art with photography, and came to be known as the Pictures Generation. Since then she has continued to explore the appropriated image through her own photography, especially in relation to iconic representations of nature as well as the spaces of consumerism—two subjects that remain significant in today’s cultural discourses.
This book, which accompanies an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, is a beautifully illustrated retrospective of nearly four decades of Alexander’s work. Since the 1980s, Alexander has made numerous series of photographs, montages, sculptures, collages and installations, all working to hone a vision that captures the spectacle and inherent falseness of certain public and private spaces. From the exaggerated architecture of Versailles, Disneyland and the West Edmonton Mall, to the use of idyllic “natural” settings and the skin-deep beauty of fashion models, she unravels the mechanisms of display that shape meaning and desire in our culture.