The Temptation of Saint Anthony

Vikky Alexander


Cooper Cole is pleased to present a solo exhibition from Vancouver-based artist Vikky Alexander. The Temptation of Saint Anthony reintroduces a selection of photographic works that were completed when Alexander was living in New York in the early 1980s. When she moved there from Canada, Alexander became the youngest member of a group of artists, which included Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, and Richard Prince, who were using photography to demystify codes and systems of representation through appropriation and quotation.

Drawing upon the editorial pages of fashion magazines, Alexander’s primary subject matter consists of generic images of women that are conventionally thought of as beautiful by a patriarchal society. Through a system of cropping, re-photographing, enlarging, repositioning, and reorganizing the images, Alexander decontextualizes these advertisements in a way that skews the viewer’s perception of their original intent. These depictions of beauty and grace, along with the artist’s use of repetition within the convention of a rigid minimalist grid, challenge not only the commodification of female imagery in the mass media and the artifice involved in the world of fashion, but also question the true meaning of beauty, uniqueness, and individuality.