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Vikky Alexander, Sara Cwynar

Vikky Alexander, Aqua Obsession, 1983 - 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Cooper Cole, Toronto

Vikky Alexander, Aqua Obsession, 1983 - 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Cooper Cole, Toronto

Cooper Cole presents a booth featuring work by two Canadian photographers of international acclaim; Vikky Alexander and Sara Cwynar. Each artist’s practice deconstructs commercial imagery through strategic appropriation, repetition and manipulation.

While living in New York during the early 1980’s, Alexander became affiliated with the Pictures Generation for her series of re-photographed images from fashion advertisements and editorials. These works reposition the models from passive objects of desire to dynamic and self-possessed. 

Cwynar is similarly interested in sourcing and repurposing advertising imagery from the mid-late-twentieth century to question how the modernist ideals they profess have shifted overtime and what effect this has on a collective worldview. The two artists’ bodies of work provide context and broader historical relevance to one another through their intergenerational approaches to exploring media issues and shared feminist lens.

Vikky Alexander (b. 1959, Victoria, Canada) is a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is known for her large scalephoto-mural installations and multimedia works that combine photography with sculptural objects. These works foreground a strong interest in the history of architecture, the fields of design and fashion supported by the production of drawing and collage. Her early work informed the movement of Appropriation Art and she is aligned with the Vancouver School. Having exhibited professionally since 1981, Alexander has shown in venues such as The New Museum, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, DIA Art Foundation, New York; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern; MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland; Vancouver Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Chernoff Fine Art, Vancouver, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Trepanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada; Barbican Art Gallery, Canada House, London, UK; Yokohama Civic Art Gallery, Yokohama, Japan; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan; amongst others. Her works can be found in the collections ofthe Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, International Center of Photography, New York City, USA; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; and the Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece. Alexander currently lives and works in Montreal, Canada.

Sara Cwynar (b. 1985, Vancouver, Canada) received her Bachelor of Design from York University, Toronto, Canada in 2010 and her MFA from Yale University, New Haven, USA in 2016. Her work involves a constant archiving and re-presentation of collected visual materials. She is interested in the way that images morph, accumulate, endure and change in meaning and value over time, and the effect this has on a collective worldview. Sara Cwynar has exhibited internationally at Oakville Galleries, Oakville; COOPERCOLE, Toronto, Canada; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; M+B Gallery, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Foxy Production, Andrea Rosen, Eleven Rivington, New York, USA; Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy. Cwynar's works can be found in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA Library, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA; Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; amongst others. Sara Cwynar currently lives and works in Brooklyn, USA.