"Elizabeth Alexander amazes us with her sundry array of simple materials that she then complicates and manipulates into completely different objects altogether. She seems to express the challenging thoughts and feelings that we have about being a woman in popular culture in a way that is at once both elegant and chaotic. The works are a mystery when seen from far away, just texture and color, drawing the viewer closer in to see what they are made of and how they are made. On the way, one will find symbols and references leading to a deeper inspection of the (female) human experience."
I am an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptures and installations made from deconstructed domestic materials. I hold degrees in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy, MFA, and Massachusetts College of Art, BFA, where I discovered the complex nature of dissecting objects of nostalgia. My work has exhibited across the country at institutions including the Museum of Art and Design, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Southeast Center for Contemporary Art, the Nasher Museum at Duke University, the Currier Museum and is included in permanent collections at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR, Fidelity, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. I am represented by K Contemporary and an Artist Partner with Hodges Taylor. I am currently an Associate Professor and Sculpture Department Coordinator at Montserrat College of Art
Drawing from my own story, with a loving yet tumultuous working-class upbringing at its heart, I work to unpack the social, cultural, and psychological pressures within American domesticity. Raised to see the possibility in found or unwanted things, I regard the domestic environment as an extension of human ingenuity. Traditional craft techniques are adapted to manipulate found material artifacts, similar to those from my past, in order to reflect on the values placed on these items and what that might communicate to others. This work can range from objects such as a disassembled teacup, to photographs of altered environments, to site-specific installations with sound and performance.
Regarding home as a place that is shaped by our stories and bears witness to our secret lives, I explore ways we are shaped by our homes and the activity within them. It is the place where hidden values and power structures are taught, enacted, and reinforced; where one’s security and safety can turn on a dime. Familiar domestic forms are often blended with cast storm debris and paper flora to imbue these objects of order and comfort with the unpredictability and slow evolution of the natural world. In my current body of 'beautiful disasters' I work to bring forth the increasing vulnerability within our surroundings. Contrary to the idyllic image of the unblemished American home, the unseen chaos that embeds our shared humanity is made visible through purposeful acts of deconstruction and renovation.
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