Alice Wang: We Are Extraterrestrial
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754
Saturday, May 4 at 6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Ends Aug 3, 2024
In her first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Alice Wang showcases recent prints and glass sculptures, alongside newly-commissioned large-scale ceramic sculptures, a film, and an artist book that reflect the artist’s deep curiosity for the space between the real and the imaginary. These works are the result of her immersive research trips to space analogs, or sites with similar conditions to extraterrestrial bodies in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and across Iceland and the Arctic. “By putting myself through the physicality of traveling to these surreal and sublime landscapes, I aimed to shift my Earth-bound perspective, open up the threshold of my anthropocentric perception, and explore the unknown,” said Wang. “The physical boundary of the resulting work is not limited to its visible expression, and indulges our collective curiosity.” Through sculpture, photography, and film, We Are Extraterrestrial engages the convergence of science and mystery, where the known encounters the unknown and where empirical observation confronts the limits of human comprehension. Within an immersive gallery experience, Wang’s objects serve as conduits for dialogue, inviting us to contemplate the vastness of the natural world and our own place within it. Central to the exhibition lies Wang’s fascination with hexagonal shapes, drawing inspiration from natural geometric formations such as basalt columns found in unique volcanic sites around the world, as well as specific molecular structures such as carbon and serotonin. To help facilitate her ceramics production, Wang collaborated with the Art Department at East Los Angeles College, bringing together a small team of students, faculty, and fabricators to create a new suite of large-scale ceramic works that experiment with scale and perception, challenging the notion that the physical boundaries of art are confined to its visible expression. Also on display is Wang’s Pyramids and Parabolas III, a structuralist film that captures footage from her solo expeditions over the last six years. Wang journeyed to Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Iceland, and the Arctic, seeking landscapes on Earth that resemble those from other planets. The film weaves together travelogue vignettes, personal anecdotes, and family history, presenting the body as an instrument for exploring both physical and psychological landscapes, aiming to extend beyond the limits of human comprehension. Generous support for this project is provided through a grant from the Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided by the Canada Council for the Arts and the LA County Department of Arts and Culture as part of Creative Recovery LA, an initiative funded by the American Rescue Plan. All exhibitions at the Vincent Price Art Museum are underwritten by the Vincent Price Art Museum Foundation and East Los Angeles College. About the artist: Alice Wang received a BSc in Computer Science and International Relations from the University of Toronto, a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and an MFA from New York University. She was a fellow at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, a Villa Aurora fellow in Berlin, and a grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Arts. Wang has presented in solo exhibitions at the UCCA Dune Art Museum, Beidaihe, China; Capsule Shanghai (2017, 2021); Human Resources, Los Angeles; and 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, among others. She has also presented work at the Hammer Museum, Galleria Continua, Para Site, Galerie Urs Meile, and the 14th Shanghai Biennale. Wang will be an artist-in-residence at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in December. She lives and works in New York.