Elizabeth Alexander | The Good Ones

July 20 - September 14, 2024

Join K Contemporary and Elizabeth Alexander on Saturday, July 20, 2024 from 3 - 6 PM for an opening reception at K Contemporary, located at 1412 Wazee Street, Denver, CO


Elizabeth Alexander’s first major solo exhibition at the gallery explores how the specific home decor we choose reflects both our personal aspirations as well as society’s values. Long fascinated by American material culture, Alexander creates elegant installations that reveal coded messages hidden in our domestic environment. She appropriates the accouterments of refined interior design such as wallpaper, upholstered furniture, and porcelain to upend our ideas about beautification and what constitutes a safe and happy home. By meticulously rearranging and editing the features of familiar decorative art objects, she prompts a wholesale (re)consideration of how we broadcast comfort, status, and affluence in our abodes.  


The show’s title, The Good Ones , refers to the fancy dinnerware reserved for guests often called ‘the good china.’ It conjures etiquette, behavioral norms, and a set of “traditional values” around hospitality and how, why, and when we perform as hosts. The Good Ones intermingles domestic vignettes of floral elegance containing a maelstrom of caste and cut wallpaper, retrofitted sconces, and toppled chandeliers among transformed porcelain and commemorative Confederate plates. 


K Contemporary Director, Jennifer Berry, observes, “Drawing from her own loving yet tumultuous working-class upbringing, Alexander visually and conceptually unpacks the social, cultural, and psychological pressures embedded in American domesticity. Traditional craft techniques are adapted to manipulate found material artifacts.  Elizabeth sees the desire, despair, human ingenuity, and possibility in found or unwanted things. She explores the ways we are shaped by our homes and the activity within them.”  


Alexander’s sweeping yet meticulous installations position homes as places where hidden values and power structures are taught, enacted, and reinforced -- where one’s security and safety can turn on a dime. Contrary to the idyllic image of the unblemished American home, the unseen chaos that underlies our shared humanity is made visible through purposeful artistic acts of deconstruction and renovation.


Alexander’s work has been acquired by and featured in major exhibitions at museums such as the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Nasher Museum at Duke University, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the North Carolina Art Museum, the Mint Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.