Alice Aycock has lived in New York City since 1968. She received a B.A. from Douglass College and an M.A. from Hunter College. 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 of new sculptures with Marlborough in the fall of 2017. Her 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 exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Documenta VI and VIII and the Whitney Biennial.
She has had four major retrospectives. 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 1990, the second retrospective entitled Complex Visions was organized by the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York. 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, with an essay by Jonathan Fineberg accompanied the retrospective. She received the International Association of Art Critics Award for this exhibition. Most recently, works from 1971 through 2019 were exhibited at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Germany, and a comprehensive catalog was published as well.
From March 8th through July 20th 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. Three of the sculptures traveled to the Chicago Lakefront in August 2014. Two other works from this series were exhibited in Beyond Limits: Sotheby’s at Chatsworth at the Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, U.K. in 2013/2014. In 2015, Hoop-La was exhibited in a large outdoor sculpture exhibition in Bad Homburg, Germany. In the summer of 2020, six large-scale sculptures from the Turbulence Series were installed in an outdoor exhibition at the Royal Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden.
The MoMA reinstalled her sculpture Studies for a Town as part of the exhibition “Here Is Every,” curated by Connie Butler (2008-9), and the Whitney Museum exhibited Untitled (Shanty) in Sites, curated by Carter Foster and Gary Carrion-Murayari. Clay #2, first executed in 1971, was reproduced for Ends of the Earth: Art of the Land to 1974, a comprehensive survey of the period held in 2012 at LAMOCA and traveled to Haus der Kunst, Munich.
Aycock’s early works are land art pieces that involve reshaping the earth such as A Simple Network of Underground Wells and Tunnels, Low Building With Dirt Roof (For Mary), and the Williams College Project, situated on land in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Permanent reconstructions of Low Building with Dirt Roof (for Mary) was installed at Storm King Art Center in 2010 and A Simple Network… from 1975 was sited in 2012 at Omi International Arts Center, in Ghent, NY.
Her large-scale installations can be found at numerous universities including, The Miraculating Machine in the Garden at Rutgers University (1982); The Solar Wind at Roanoke College, in Salem, Virginia (1983/2010); The Islands of the Rose Apple Tree… at Western Washington State University, Bellingham (1987); Tree of Life Fantasy… at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1992); Summaries of Arithmetic… at the entrance to the Engineering Department at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1992); a Waterworks Installation for the University of Nebraska in Omaha (1993); Maze 2000 for University of South Florida, Tampa (2002); Starsifter, Galaxy NGC 4314 at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey (2005); A Startling Whirlwind of Opportunity, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2009); Entangling/Disentangling Space, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah (2009); Accelerations, Western Connecticut State University, Danbury (2010); and more recently, The Butterfly Effect at Michigan State University (2012), Super Twister for University of Cincinnati (2013), and Texas Twister for Texas State University (2018).
Aycock's public sculptures can be found in many major cities in the United States. Some of her public commissions include a roof top sculpture for the 107th Police Precinct House in Queens, New York, associated architects Perkins, Eastman (1992); and East River Roundabout (1995/2014) for the East River Park Pavilion at 60th Street in New York City, associated architects Quennell Rothschild Associates and HOK/TCA. In 1996 she inaugurated a work for the San Francisco Public Library – a functional and fantasy spiral stairs, and a suspended piece entitled Cyclone Fragment. The work required close collaboration with the library's principal architect James Ingo Freed of Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners. Concurrently, she opened a suspended sculpture for the Sacramento Convention Center in California. Star Sifter, a large architectural sculpture for the rotunda of the Terminal One at JFK International Airport was completed in 1998 and resited above the entrance to the security zone in 2013. Other public installations include a suspended work for the Philadelphia International Airport (2001); GSA commission for the entrance to the Fallon Building, Baltimore (2004); Strange Attractor for Kansas City, International Airport (2007); The Uncertainty of Ground State Fluctuations, Clayton, Missouri (2007); Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks, Nashville, Tennessee (2008); Whirls and Swirls and a Vortex on Water, Central Broward Regional Park County (2008); and The Game of Flyers Part Two, Washington Dulles International Airport (2012). In 2016, she completed a large-scale outdoor public artwork in Coral Gables, Florida, and an 80-foot long entrance sculpture for the new MGM National Harbor, Maryland. She installed a sculpture for the lobby of 50 West, New York, New York in July 2017. A permanent large-scale installation was inaugurated at Pier 27 on the Toronto waterfront in the fall of 2017, as well as an entry sculpture for the new Capital One headquarters in McLean, Virginia in 2018. A large sculpture was installed in 2019 at the Port Everglades Cruise Terminal.
In September of 2005, MIT Press published the artist’s first hardcover monograph, entitled Alice Aycock, Sculpture and Projects, authored by Robert Hobbs. She has received numerous awards including four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Aycock was a member of the New York City Design Commission from 2003 to 2012 and she has also been appointed to the GSA’s National Register of Peer Professionals. She received the Americans for the Arts Public Art Award in 2008 for Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks in Nashville, Tennessee. She was inducted into the National Academy, New York City, in 2013. Aycock has taught at numerous colleges and universities including Yale University (1988-92) and as the Director of Graduate Sculpture Studies (1991-92). She has been teaching at the School of Visual Arts in NY since 1991 and was a visiting artist Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore from 2010 to 2014. The International Sculpture Center presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture in 2018, and she received an Academy of the Arts Achievement Award in Visual Arts from Guild Hall in March 2019.