During her graduate studies at Hunter College, Alice Aycock (b. 1946) began to forge links between personal and more inclusive subject matter and form. In her quest for contemporary monuments, Aycock wrote her Master’s thesis on U.S. highway systems. Aycock’s large environmental sculptures create intense psychological atmospheres. Although she uses primitive rites and architecture as sources, her implementation of contemporary materials removes those specific connotations. In her later career, Aycock began collaborating with architects, installing site-specific works upon pre-existing or newly planned structures.
Within this interview with Kate Horsfield, Aycock reflects upon the impact a trip to Greece had upon her ability to merge personal history with architectural references. "The trip to Greece was really sort of the fundamental trip…on the return trip from Greece I decided to write a master’s thesis on the highway. I was trying to find some sort of parallel in the twentieth century world that would equal these kinds of acropolises and real monuments and real driven compulsive activity on the part of these people. That thesis, plus the trip, were sort of at the point where I began to sort of really find myself in terms of my work, and I also began to be able to deal with personal material and distance myself from it in a certain way.”
A historical interview originally recorded in 1977 and re-edited in 2006.