Alice Wang, Pyramids and Parabolas III, 2024 / video still / Courtesy of the artist and the Vincent Price Art Museum
Alice Wang: We Are Extraterrestrial
May 4 – Aug 3, 2024
Vincent Price Art Museum / East Los Angeles College
Monterey Park, USA

In her first solo museum exhibition in the United States, We Are Extraterrestrial, artist Alice Wang showcases recent prints and glass sculptures, alongside newly-commissioned ceramic sculptures, film, and an artist book. These works are the result of her immersive research trips to sites with similar conditions to extraterrestrial bodies in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and across Iceland and the Arctic.

Wang employs a post-minimalist aesthetic for object-making and a structuralist approach to moving images, expanding the limitations of materials, whether familiar or foreign. She interrogates medium specificity as both a conceptual framework and in the exploration of forms, integrating scientific, technological, and mythical perspectives to reveal the inherent meaning within natural materials.

Wang’s fascination with hexagonal forms led her to develop ceramic sculptures for the exhibition, drawing inspiration from natural geometric formations such as basalt columns found in unique volcanic locations worldwide, as well as molecular structures such as carbon and serotonin. Wang collaborated with the Art Department at East Los Angeles College, bringing together a team of students, faculty, and fabricators to create a new suite of ceramic works that experiment with scale and perception, while challenging the notion that the physical boundaries of art are confined to its visible expression.

Pyramids and Parabolas III, a structuralist film by Wang comprised of footage from her solo expeditions over the past six years that seeks terrestrial topographies on Earth that resemble those found on other planets, is also being screened within the exhibition. By skillfully interlacing travelogue vignettes, personal anecdotes, and family history, the film presents the body as an instrument for exploring physical and psychological landscapes.

The works presented in the exhibition reflect the artist’s deep curiosity for the interplay between the real and the imaginary, navigating the tensions between the scientific method and the anthropocentric perception of nature. Wang’s artworks serve as conduits for metaphysical inquiry, conjuring the intersections of science and mystery, the collapsing of the artificial binaries of the worldly and otherworldly, where the known encounters the unknown, and confronting the limits of human comprehension.

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