Alice Aycock: Works on Paper
May 11 – August 15, 2023
The Directors of Marlborough New York are pleased to present a selection of works on paper by Alice Aycock. Featured in the exhibition are several large-scale drawings referencing waves, wind turbulence, turbines, gyroscopes, and vortexes of energy.
Although Aycock is known for her large-scale installations and sculptures, drawing is an essential part of her practice. Her works on paper reference the whimsical and structural forms that she evokes in her sculpture, which include elements of mirage, fantasy, and science. Aycock’s drawings highlight major themes that have governed her artistic practice: the role of architecture as a foundational point of reference, the importance of mechanics and structure, and the drama of nature.
Aycock's works are intriguing because of their resistance to easy explanations. As an art student, Aycock studied under artists who underscored the idea that different ways of composing two-dimensional space could be aligned with different ways of viewing the world, rather than outlining strict formal techniques. On her own, Aycock learned how to draw plans, elevations, and axonometric, isometric, and oblique views, so that she could create a visual framework for what she wanted to construct: settings for playing out her imagination. The whirling shapes—blades, swirls—in flux, derived from a book entitled “Cook’s Tools,” from All the Wars in the World (Fire): Come and Get Me, present Aycock’s intent to create art as an experience rather than an object. With each drawing, Aycock encourages viewers, as she puts it, to “imagine oneself into another place.”
Alice Aycock has lived in New York City since 1968. She was represented by the John Weber Gallery in New York City from 1976 through 2001 and has exhibited in major museums and galleries nationally as well as in Europe and Japan. Currently she is represented by Marlborough Gallery, New York and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin. She had her first solo exhibition with Marlborough in the fall of 2017, and subsequently in 2020 and 2021. She has had multiple solo exhibitions with Galerie Thomas Schulte, most recently in 2019. MIT Press published the artist’s first hardcover monograph in 2005, entitled Alice Aycock, Sculpture and Projects, authored by Robert Hobbs.
She has had four major retrospectives. Works from 1971 through 2019 were exhibited at the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany in 2019, and a comprehensive catalogue was published. In 2013, a retrospective of her drawings and small sculptures was exhibited at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York coinciding with the Grey Art Gallery in New York City. The retrospective traveled to the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 2014. A fully illustrated catalogue, Some Stories are Worth Repeating, accompanied the retrospective. She received the International Association of Art Critics Award for this exhibition. In 1990, her second retrospective entitled Complex Visions was organized by the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY. The first was organized by the Wurttembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart in 1983 and traveled to Kolnischer Kunstverein Koln; Sculpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl; Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag; Kunstmuseum Luzern.
In 2014, a series of seven sculptures were installed on the Park Avenue Malls in New York City, entitled Park Avenue Paper Chase, in collaboration with Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin. In the summer of 2020, six large-scale sculptures from the Turbulence Series were installed in an outdoor solo exhibition at the Royal Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden.
Aycock’s works can be found in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the LA County Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Sheldon, Storm King Art Center, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Germany. She has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Documenta VI and VIII and the Whitney Biennial.