Jessica Stockholder, Ph.D.
Raymond W. & Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor of Visual Arts, Artist
University of Chicago
Born in 1959 in Seattle, Wash., USA
Studied Visual Arts at Yale University
Drawing and Painting in Response to Berlin and in Preparation for a Project at the Centraal Museum in UtrechtI will be working towards an exhibition at the Centraal Museum opening April 2019 that will present an overview of my work merged with a curatorial project aimed at exploring questions revolving around boundary, dependence, and autonomy - central questions in my work that I have explored in many different forms. This project is unfolding, and many directions are possible.
As I work towards this exhibition, I will make drawings and small works in my studio. It may be that I make sets of drawings that are both autonomous and interactive in groups. I am interested in proposing sequences of drawing events as equivalent to the execution of alphabet letters. I may explore the wide variety of different kinds of marks that resonate with the alphabet, handwriting, drawing, calligraphy, and computer fonts as they might run into different kinds of pencil, brush, and ink drawing forms.
In most of my work, color has been central. Color evokes feeling and thought. It is experienced both as solid, embodied by material, and ephemeral, as it is carried by light. Color can be used to facilitate the creation of illusion and it is factual. I appreciate and orchestrate the experience of color as a metaphor for the complexity of our ever-changing layered and dynamic internal lives.
I will likely also make three-dimensional objects that involve sequencing and pose related questions about dependence, autonomy, and context.
Recommended Reading and Viewing
Jessica Stockholder: Revised and Expanded Edition. New York: Phaidon Press, 2018. (= Contemporary Artist Series.)
Website link including information, images, and a video about a recent work installed at the Smart Museum, University of Chicago: https://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/exhibitions/jessica-stockholder-roses-inclination/
Tuesday Colloquium, 23.10.2018
I will discuss my work using its relationship to context as an organizing principle, beginning with a short overview of its development leading up to the present. I will go on to share images of recent work included in an exhibition that is currently on view at The Contemporary Austin, in Texas. The title of this exhibition, "Relational Aesthetics," quotes the title of a book by Nicolas Bourriaud in which he discusses art based on, or inspired by, human relations embedded in a social context. The ideas expressed in his book have accompanied art making practices filling exhibition spaces with work focused on social relations as distinct from object making. In contrast, I find that the relation between the aesthetics embedded in quotidian objects, art objects, their contexts, and the people that view them yields plentiful meaning resonant with those two words: "relational aesthetics."
I will conclude by sharing some thoughts about my upcoming exhibition at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht planned for this April. In that exhibition, titled "Chromophobia: Still Alive," I will be orchestrating an intersection between my work and the very wide-ranging collection of the museum. This intersection follows on the intersection of my work with its physical context, the various materials and objects of which it is made, and my ongoing interest in acknowledging the conversational relationship between art objects.
The intersection of my work with context is explored literally in relation to edge and boundary, frame and pedestal, in relation to the human body; in relation to various means of display, different kinds of site, and institutional bracket. These forms act as, or give rise to, metaphor and to questions about autonomy and dependence that continue to occupy me.
Books of interest:
"Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness." By Peter Godfrey-Smith.
"The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean." By Trevor Corson.
"Chromophobia." By David Batchelor.
If you are interested, here are two links to a text, published in two parts, containing thoughts about landscape and urban gardening in relation to the work of my colleague, and photographer, Laura Letinsky. This was recently published in the online journal Painters on Painting: