Jessica Stockholder is a defining figure in contemporary sculptural installation.
Her works have been described as ‘sculpture-painting hybrids,’ employing the principals of two-dimensional composition in three dimensional space. Furniture, extension cables, lights, stuffed animals, car parts, fruit and layers of paint enter into complex formal relationships, awakening the imagination and creating moments of pure play and optimism for the viewer.
Her sculptural works range from intimate, wall-mounted arrangements to entire rooms and outdoor parks. One of their most striking qualities is an expansive energy - architectural elements, and other diverse components spill, stretch out, fold over, cover, and pierce through. Stockholder’s work often extends beyond the frame of the gallery physically and always symbolically. By introducing a bricolage of commonplace objects into the gallery space, she initiates a discourse on issues peripheral to that space such as identity politics and capitalist consumerism.
Jessica Stockholder was born in Seattle and grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied painting at the University of British Columbia and completed her BFA in 1982 at the University of Victoria. In 1985 she received an MFA from Yale University where she then worked as professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture. She also received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Emily Carr College of Art in 2010.
She has exhibited throughout North America and Europe, most notably at the Venice Biennale; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; Dia Centre for the Arts, New York; the Power Plant, Toronto; the Art Institute of Chicago; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Centre, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Her work is held in significant collections including the: Art Institute of Chicago, Vancouver Art Gallery, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
Stockholder is currently professor and Chair at the Department of Visual Arts at University of Chicago.