ELIZABETH ALEXANDER

OUR AMERICA/WHOSE AMERICA?

2022 | Ferrin Contemporary | North Adams, MA

featuring works from

A Mightier Work is Ahead


The title is paraphrased after a Frederick Douglas quote from  OUR WORK IS NOT DONE, a speech delivered at the annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society held at Philadelphia, December 3-4, 1863.

But a mightier work than the abolition of slavery now looms up before the Abolitionist. – When we have taken the chains off the slave, as I believe we shall do, we shall find a harder resistance to the second purpose of this great association than we have found even upon slavery itself.

ADDITIONAL WORKS & EXHIBITIONS

The Great Enemy of Truth


“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived, and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.”

– John F. Kennedy

In The Great Enemy of Truth, I edited a full set of Confederate commemorative plates and packaging by extracting the Confederate symbols, leaving only the American landscape between the voids. The dust and text from each removal was harvested and is displayed below its plate of origin to show that history cannot be erased; there is still a residue.

CANARY SYNDROME

2018 | Group Exhibition at Ferrin Contemporary | North Adams, MA

Learn more about the exhibition here.

ABOUT ELIZABETH

Elizabeth Alexander is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptures and installations made from deconstructed domestic materials. Through labored processes separating decorative print from found objects she unearths elements of human behavior and hidden emotional lives that exist within the walls of our homes. She holds degrees in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy, MFA, and Massachusetts College of Art, BFA, where she discovered the complex nature of dissecting objects of nostalgia. Alexander’s work has recently been featured in the 2019 Burke Prize Finalist exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design, and will be featured in Paper Routes, Women to Watch 2020 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and is included in permanent collections at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. She is currently an Associate Professor at the UNC School of the Arts.

ON HER WORK

Channeling neurosis and anxiety into busywork, menial tasks, and fussing over trivial duties, I pacify doubt with reverie. Meditating on the private and public nature of homemaking, trend following, and general beautification, exaggerations of taste-making unearth human behavior and emotion through manipulations of the stuff of our recent past. I trifle with relics of the American Dream to uncover antiquated ideals and promises through an endless process of deconstruction and reconstruction, counterfeits and edits.

Obsession, repetition, and labor function as both a subject and a method to break down forgotten findings of domestic investment and recondition the parts into non-utilitarian patterned indulgences. Appropriating discarded materials such as decorative wallpaper, architectural embellishments, furniture, images from coffee table books, and porcelain tableware, I cultivate and tarnish decoration and its domestic application. These attempts to find and display good taste unmask the tragic, comic, ephemeral, and irrational characteristics of a self-conscious society. My findings on this quest for domestic perfection visualize the cost and absurdity of social climbing through material veils.

CURRENT + RECENT EXHIBITIONS

CANARY SYNDROME

Canary Syndrome September 27–November 4, 2018 at Ferrin Contemporary Ferrin Contemporary is pleased to present Canary Syndrome, a group show featuring recent works by U.S. and U.K.-based artists including Elizabeth...