Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Vikky Alexander: Vaux-le-Vicomte Panorama On View At the National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa, Canada - April 10, 2000


 « Vikky Alexander. Panorama de Vaux-le-Vicomte à l'affiche au Musée des beaux-arts du Canada » 
The National Gallery of Canada is pleased to present Vikky Alexander: Vaux-le-Vicomte Panorama, an installation of laser-disc projection and mirror columns created in 1998, on view at the Gallery from 20 April to 3 July 2000. Multi-media Canadian artist Vikky Alexander is concerned with what we accept and enjoy as beautiful, our easy consumption of images and our escapism into representation. She questions notions of display and decoration grounded in a culture conditioned by media hype, advertising, the movies.
In this installation, lush scenes of the formal gardens designed by André Le Nôtre at Vaux-le-Vicomte in France are projected very large. The projection is reflected off mirror-faced columns that fragment and multiply the images so that the room resembles the profusion and illusion of a modern shopping mall. The gardens represent a pinnacle of high baroque aesthetics. Their perfectly symmetrical and intricate patterns represent absolute control over the unpredictability of nature and, with that, suggest the absolute power inherent in the monarchic state. The images might cause us to momentarily forget the human misery that allowed such glories to flourish. Beauty and aesthetics, however, do not exist apart from political realities, then or now. Vikky Alexander's illusionistic environment calls attention to the pictorial image's power to seduce and delude.

Vikky Alexander lives in Vancouver, and teaches at the University of Victoria. She studied fine arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, graduating in 1979. She has exhibited extensively within Canada and internationally, in Japan, Korea, Europe, and in the United States, particularly in New York, where she lived during the 1980s.

Interviews with Janice Seline, Associate Curator of Media Arts at the National Gallery of Canada, are available upon request.

On Thursday 20 April at 12:15 pm, meet artist Vikky Alexander for a talk and tour of her video installation in Contemporary Gallery B208. An exhibition opening will take place that evening at 6 pm in Contemporary Gallery B209, followed by a reception with cash bar in the Upper Rotunda. All are welcome.

Vikky Alexander: Vaux-le-Vicomte Panorama is organized in conjunction with the Media Arts Program of the National Gallery of Canada.
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