Cut a rug a round square

Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. Robert Mangold Curved Plane / Figure XI, 1995.
Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. Robert Mangold Curved Plane / Figure XI, 1995.
Jessica Stockholder Squeezed orange actor stack: Ode to Liz Larner. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen Dropped Flower, 2006. Miguel Ángel Campano Tara, 1994. Bernard Frize Taunus, 1997.
Jessica Stockholder Squeezed orange actor stack: Ode to Liz Larner. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen Dropped Flower, 2006. Miguel Ángel Campano Tara, 1994. Bernard Frize Taunus, 1997.
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen Dropped Flower, 2006.Jessica Stockholder Squeezed orange actor stack: Ode to Liz Larner. Simon Dybbroe Møller Waiting for Different Times, 2008.
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen Dropped Flower, 2006. Jessica Stockholder Squeezed orange actor stack: Ode to Liz Larner. Simon Dybbroe Møller Waiting for Different Times, 2008.
Monica Bonvicini Bonded ed eternmale, 2002 in the foreground. Jessica Stockholder, wrestling ring. Mona Hatoum Undercurrent (Red), 2008. Jessica Stockholder Squeezed orange actor stack: Ode to Liz Larner. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen Dropped Flower, 2006. Reinhard Mucha Seelow (Für François Robelin), 2003-2006. Vito Acconci Directions, 1969.
Monica Bonvicini Bonded ed eternmale, 2002 in the foreground. Jessica Stockholder, wrestling ring. Mona Hatoum Undercurrent (Red), 2008. Jessica Stockholder Squeezed orange actor stack: Ode to Liz Larner. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen Dropped Flower, 2006. Reinhard Mucha Seelow (Für François Robelin), 2003-2006. Vito Acconci Directions, 1969.
Monica Bonvicini Bonded ed eternmale, 2002 in the foreground. Jessica Stockholder, wrestling ring. Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. Jim Lambie Metal box, 2012. Guilermo Perez Villalta Flagelación, 1993. Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986. Uliano Lucas Piazza Caricamento, Genova, luglio 2000, 2000.
Monica Bonvicini Bonded ed eternmale, 2002 in the foreground. Jessica Stockholder, wrestling ring. Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. Jim Lambie Metal box, 2012. Guilermo Perez Villalta Flagelación, 1993. Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986. Uliano Lucas Piazza Caricamento, Genova, luglio 2000, 2000.
Tracey Emin Dolly, 2002. Guilermo Perez Villalta Flagelación, 1993. Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986. Uliano Lucas Piazza Caricamento, Genova, luglio 2000. Jim Lambie Metal box, 2012.
Tracey Emin Dolly, 2002. Guilermo Perez Villalta Flagelación, 1993. Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986. Uliano Lucas Piazza Caricamento, Genova, luglio 2000. Jim Lambie Metal box, 2012.
Jim Lambie Metal box, 2012. Uliano Lucas Piazza Caricamento, Genova, luglio 2000. Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. Guilermo Perez Villalta Flagelación, 1993. Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986.
Jim Lambie Metal box, 2012. Uliano Lucas Piazza Caricamento, Genova, luglio 2000. Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. Guilermo Perez Villalta Flagelación, 1993. Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986.
Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986.
Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986.
Pedro G. Romero Sodoma y Gomorra, 1989. Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008.
Pedro G. Romero Sodoma y Gomorra, 1989. Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008.
Marlene Dumas The Prophet, 2004. Aurelio Amendola Alberto Burri, Morra, Combustion, 1977. Lawrence Weiner A REMOVAL OF THE CORNER OF A RUG IN USE, 1969. Edward Ruscha 9 to 5, 1991.
Marlene Dumas The Prophet, 2004. Aurelio Amendola Alberto Burri, Morra, Combustion, 1977. Lawrence Weiner A REMOVAL OF THE CORNER OF A RUG IN USE, 1969. Edward Ruscha 9 to 5, 1991.

Jessica Stockholder: Cut a rug a round square

Date: February 11, 2021 – May 8, 2021
Place: OGR Torino – Officine Grandi Riparazioni, Corso Castelfidardo, 22 10138 Torino – Italy OGR Torino

Introductory brochure Read/download introductory brochure (English) in PDF format (with hyperlinks to works of art referenced)

Exhibition map/legend Read/download exhibition map (English) in PDF format

The invitation was to make/curate an exhibition focused on painting, and drawing from two collections, the Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna in Turin, and the la Caxia in Barcelona. I took my own passions for how meaning evolves in art as a starting point. I am compelled by how form is inextricably tied to both subject and content; and I find enormous meaning in how our apprehension of surface yields information about reality while at the same time generating illusions that are resonant with our capacity for imagination. These interests guided my choices.

As I spent time with both collections, I became focused on those works in which rectilinear and circular forms played pivotal roles, and I started to think about the various ways in which these two basic shapes resonate with the body, how they function to corral content, and how they contribute to marking the edges of artworks.

Paintings need walls to hang on, and for the last hundred years or so, the ‘white cube’ has been an assumed context for them. The white walls, and clean geometry of the space being proposed as a neutral container, not unlike a blank piece of paper. The OGR building, itself a skeleton of an industrial building from a former time, is not neutral. Importantly, it also has no built-in lighting system; and paintings need light to be seen. So, I needed to take account of both walls and lighting.

It is always valuable to acknowledge context as the edges between artworks and their surroundings are permeable, with information flowing in all directions. In this case the buildout for the exhibition is not proposed as neutral. It is in concert with the history of the white cube, with the space and history of the OGR, with the artworks themselves, and also with the history of my own artwork.

The first essential elements of the buildout are the triangular wall structures. Being that triangles are fragments of rectilinear forms; they are always full of dynamic energy. Their corners point out past themselves, carrying the eye and attention in three directions. I proposed two clusters of triangular wall structures each related to a shaped piece of color on the floor – one round and the other square.  Each island, and each artwork, in the space is lit inside of the otherwise dark building, turning these clusters into Floating islands.

The bright, floating, painted islands of paintings seemed to require a foil of some kind; a need satisfied by the introduction of a facsimile of a wrestling rink. Like the many paintings in the exhibition, and like the walls they hang on, the rink relies on rectilinear form to orchestrate action. The rink’s floor offers an opportunity to hold vibrant color as paintings do. In this case a vibrant pink that drips over its edges. In the real dimensional space above the rink’s floor one can imagine entangled bodies engaging in intense action akin to the action playing out on the flat surfaces of the paintings hanging on the surrounding walls. Or one can move one’s own body into the rink. The floor functions as foreground and background at once. The imagined wrestling bodies are very present! They could be, like the floor, pink; or brown, beige, tan, or yellow. Yves Klein’s Anthropometries body prints come to mind here. The rink is bounded by a stretchy border. It is as full of theatrical promise and artifice as are the situations we fabricate to facilitate the presentation of paintings.

Like the other two floating islands, the rink is also spot lit, seeming to float in the otherwise dark space of OGR.

In addition to conventional paintings, the exhibition includes many works that make use of painterly tropes, and objects that may or may not be paintings, depending on how one defines the genre. As in so many instances in life, the categories we us to classify art objects are often useful abstractions applicable to particular instantiations, but insufficient to address the complexities of all. We engage parallel struggles regarding our use of category when we consider gender, age, race, aggression, wealth, strength, weakness, all of which, at various junctures, escape boundaries of thought when it comes to the particular.  In this exhibition I am most interested in considering how painterly qualities and conventions move through the exhibition rather than fitting each work into a category.

While most paintings included in the Western cannon are rectangles, there are also tondos, or round paintings. Robert Mangold’s Curved Plane, 1995, proposes a half circle as the whole painting. Many, but not all, paintings are framed by the edges of a rectangle. And sometimes a painting asks that we put together a number of rectangles sequentially to create a whole. Clemente’s fresco of 1996, Pedro G. Romero’s Sodoma y Gomorra Año, from 1989, all work in that way.

A few photographs have slipped in, in deference to their reference to, and appreciation for, their recording of painterly moments. Amendola’s photographs of Alberto Burri cutting plastic with a torch in which Burri is drawing a circle in an off the shelf rectangular plane of plastic. This is at once painting and sculpture. Vito Acconci’s photo collage of himself preforming an action, or drawing with his body on a plane. Uliano Lucas’s photo of a Piazza that includes a painted drawing on the ground; in this case the geometry serves to organize public space, and the action within – here a kiss.

Paint itself is a kind of skin. Paint forms a skin on the walls that paintings are hung on as well as on the canvas of the painting. In this way the skins of paint in the exhibition function as both foreground and background.

Taking account of the cavernous brick space of OGR, and thinking about how to create a situation that both speaks to the complexity of what painting is while at the same time allowing the works themselves to be fully empowered, I remembered the staging of space in Lars von Trier’s film Dogville. In this film a drawing on the floor maps out rooms, making space for our imaginations to fill in the room’s physicality as the action in the film plays out over the floor drawing. Here, as in Dogville, I treated the floor as an evocative plane out of which the action sprouts.

It is difficult to say whether this exhibition design grew in response to the space of OGR, or if the nature of the two collections gave rise to this treatment. In any case, at first blush, looking through the two collections, I was struck by the many works in which the circle and the square intersect. Often, but not always, these works present literal circles and squares. I began to think of the representation of the human body as a kind of circle inside of the square; and Leonardo DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man came to mind. Many of the works in this exhibition present circles, triangles, and rectangles as overt imagery. I came to see the imaged human body as a rough kind of circle framed by the rectilinear painting. Klein’s Portrait Relief of Claude Pascal is a good example. Of course, the blue body in this work can also be seen to be resonant with a rectangular shape; the body can be seen, and understood, with the aid of many different kinds of geometry. Unfortunately, this work was not available to include; I mention it in any case as thinking about it gave rise to the pink wrestling rink.

The life of the investigative imagination is instrumental in forming us and the world we share.

I hope that this exhibition provides an opportunity for those who pass through to take pleasure in flights of fancy, and to value their own agency as they take in the extraordinary range of world building encompassed by this collection of works.

Miguel Ángel Campano Tara, 1994. A picture of a stacked rectangles with round holes in them. This picture is itself a sort of black hole in the rectangle that is the painting.

Francesco Clemente Miele, Argento, Sangue, 1986. The fresco is divided into four rectangular planes. There is a face of sorts on one, that turns, at least for a moment, all of the planes into geometric bodies. Bodies acting like architecture, with the lines between all working hard to create order amidst the pictorial undulation of the surface.

Marlene Dumas The Prophet, 2004. The man in the rectangle bracketed by the circle of his cape stretched out to hold him.

Bernard Frize Taunus, 1997. Paint acts here as an index of the circular motion of the hand and arm. The action of the body within the frame of the painting can be seen as analogous to the moving body inside of the wrestling rink. In both cases the roundness of the body is foregrounded in opposition to the rectilinear nature of the plane on which the action takes place.

Robert Mangold Curved Plane / Figure XI, 1995. A half-circle capturing four stripes and three ovals. The ovals are contained by the edges of the half-circle while the stripes can be seen to go on forever.

Guilermo Perez Villalta Flagelación, 1993. The painting makes use of a severe geometry as it depicts two figures, one controlling and violating the other. Either harm being done, or consensual erotic play. In either case, the very formal geometry inherent in the painting resonates with the behavior of one figure controlling the other. As the formal geometry ‘controls’ the representation of controlling behavior within the image, so too the rectilinear edges of the painting control the illusionistic properties of the painting. The images of human beings are confined, held, and organized by the geometrical representation of the floor and architecture. The bodies in this case are resonant with rectangles. The three sticks on the left side of the painting form an X of sorts, and seem to mirror the two human beings plus stick on the right side of the image.

Pedro G. Romero Sodoma y Gomorra, 1989. The mushroom cloud is a round, the door panel is rectilinear, and the man in the middle is both. Things are a little out of whack, we know, as the height of the door panel doesn’t match. The math isn’t adding up both in relation to form and to the impact of the nuclear bomb.

Edward Ruscha 9 to 5, 1991. A painting of the work day. A cycle of time contained in the rectangle that is the painting. A segment of time which we have conceptualized as circular with the analog clock, and in relation to the rotation of the planet, and also as linear in its unstoppable continuity. This work cuts out a segment of time from the flow; there is a kind of violence in that that mirrors the violence inherent in our conception of the workday. The enforced sameness of many workdays exists as a kind of circle inside the linearity of time.

Richard Tuttle Crickets, 1991. The painted, softened, rectilinear bodies of the sculptural forms harken to each other across space. To ‘cut a rug’ is to dance well and energetically. This work does just that.

Vito Acconci Directions, 1969. The photograph, documenting a performance, images a man arms and legs spread evoking Vitruvian Man. The man is framed by the stage, establishing scale and edge; in that way both the performer and the photographer are availing themselves of a painterly trope. The stage becomes a picture plane against which the man’s movements are drawings.

Aurelio Amendola Alberto Burri, Morra, Combustion, 1977. Cutting a circle in a square. The forms are simple. The torch and the melting plastic are virulent. The material in the end holds the memory of the body in motion and the intent that drove it.

Monica Bonvicini Bonded ed eternmale, 2002. Two chair bodies wear the studded black leather that human bodies might be adorned with, performing on a red-carpet surface – not a pedestal.

Jan Dibbets Comet Land/Sky/Land 6° -72°, 1973. The circle is carved out of the stacked rectangles. When one stands in front of this work the top of the arch is above one’s head. The human body standing in front of the empty wall space the work describes causes the curve to turn into an arch by virtue of scale comparison.

Simon Dybbroe Møller Waiting for Different Times, 2008. Carved wooden blocks, squeezed into a box of sorts, together present a sort of picture plane to us as we stand in front of it. But each block is dimensional, and it is as if they are all stuffed into a closet. The whole work exists not just on the wall, but inside of it.

Tracey Emin Dolly, 2002. The human orifice in the center of the square painting is round. It is small on the body, but looms large in consciousness. The target of many taboos, and discomforts. The source of unease and pleasure. The site of many nerves.

Hollis Frampton (Nostalgia), 1971-1972. One after another, rectangular photographs are placed on top of, and cover, a round stove burner. As they burn, they shrink, becoming small squares inside of the circle, and then morphing into charred organic shapes until they disappear. The voice overlay describes the images, once or twice matching the imaged photo. About memory in its many forms.

Mona Hatoum Undercurrent (Red), 2008. The floor surface acting as picture plane presents the square inside the circle, surrounded by light. A kind of celebration of elemental forms.

Jim Lambie Metal box, 2012. The piece is not made of stretched canvas but the layers of folded aluminum each present a painted surface that is bounded rectilinearly. The corners folded in point to the middle. The very idea of middle is evocative of roundness, even before the folded corners round off the square. An effort to see more at once than the surface allows.

Uliano Lucas Piazza Caricamento, Genova, luglio 2000, 2000. The embrace on the edge of the painted circle. Engaging the circle of life.

Reinhard Mucha Seelow (Für François Robelin), 2003-2006. The not words of all the materials organized by the oval on the billboard sized rectangle.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen Dropped Flower, 2006. The sepals, petals, stamen, and pistils of the poppy flower coalesce, drawing attention in the same way as does the asshole of Tracey Emin’s Dolly. The flower is couched in the rectangular purple carpet it sits on.

Diego Perrone Untitled, 2011. This human face, skull and ear, captured by red pen, is both circle and square.

Lawrence Weiner A REMOVAL OF THE CORNER OF A RUG IN USE, 1969. Words, given form on the surface of the wall.  They, like paint on canvas, and make use of the picture plane the wall offers. Words both point to, and are the result of, the power to generate metaphor that is embedded in our experience of material. These particular words pointing to a ‘corner’ and a ‘rug,’ to absence and presence, raise a question about use value, and to the process of making, that resonates with the space between the making of the exhibition and the art objects contained.

Rachel Harrison Kouros Descends Stairs, 2008. In this work the kouros (archaic Greek statue representing the ideal beauty of a naked youth) has been reduced to a rounded lump set upon a rectangular stair. The stair also acts as pedestal for a collection of rounded fruits: apples and pears. There is a rectangular plywood board slapped onto the side. The action in this work is contained, and bounded by these two forms. Gender plays an understated role here in that the title refers to Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase in which the nude is female.

Jessica Stockholder Squeezed orange actor stack: Ode to Liz Larner, 2020. Produced by OGR to accompany this exhibition Cut a rug a round square. The work explores different kinds of attachment as curves move into angles and found objects blend into abstract shapes.

Cut a rug a round square will be on display in Torino’s OGR from February 11 to May 8, 2021.

Tied to be fit

Tied to be fit - middle period
Tied to be fit – middle period
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit - middle period
Tied to be fit – middle period
Tied to be fit - middle period
Tied to be fit – middle period
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Tied to be fit installation view
Sky Packed. 2013
Sky Packed. 2013
Corona Virus homework #17: After Chagall. April 14, 2020
Corona Virus homework #17: After Chagall. April 14, 2020
Corona Virus homework #13. April, 2020
Corona Virus homework #13. April, 2020
Corona Virus homework #2, March 29, 2020
Corona Virus homework #2, March 29, 2020
Corona Virus homework #15 TM. April 11, 2020
Corona Virus homework #15 TM. April 11, 2020
Corona Virus homework #4. March 31, 2020
Corona Virus homework #4. March 31, 2020
Corona Virus homework #1. March 29, 2020
Corona Virus homework #1. March 29, 2020
Corona Virus homework #26. May 7, 2020
Corona Virus homework #26. May 7, 2020
Corona Virus homework #27. May 8, 2020
Corona Virus homework #27. May 8, 2020
Corona Virus homework #28: Reading the paper. May 8, 2020
Corona Virus homework #28: Reading the paper. May 8, 2020
Corona Virus homework #12. April 7, 2020
Corona Virus homework #12. April 7, 2020
Corona Virus homework #5. April 2, 2020
Corona Virus homework #5. April 2, 2020
Corona Virus homework #6
Corona Virus homework #6
Corona Virus homework #7. April 3, 2020
Corona Virus homework #7. April 3, 2020
Corona Virus homework #14: Super heroes trying to get into the picture plane (Comic series). April 11, 2020
Corona Virus homework #14: Super heroes trying to get into the picture plane (Comic series). April 11, 2020
Corona Virus homework #25: Comic series. 2020
Corona Virus homework #25: Comic series. 2020
Corona Virus homework #16: Comic series. April 12, 2020
Corona Virus homework #16: Comic series. April 12, 2020
Corona Virus homework #3. March 30, 2020
Corona Virus homework #3. March 30, 2020
Corona Virus homework #24: Through the heart (Comic series). April 29, 2020
Corona Virus homework #24: Through the heart (Comic series). April 29, 2020
Corona Virus homework #9: Comic series. April 5, 2020
Corona Virus homework #9: Comic series. April 5, 2020
Corona Virus homework #8: Comic Series. April 4, 2020
Corona Virus homework #8: Comic Series. April 4, 2020
Corona Virus homework #22: Comic series. April 24, 2020
Corona Virus homework #22: Comic series. April 24, 2020
Corona Virus homework #21: Comic series. April 22, 2020
Corona Virus homework #21: Comic series. April 22, 2020
Corona Virus homework #11: Comic series. April 7, 2020
Corona Virus homework #11: Comic series. April 7, 2020
Corona Virus homework #10: Comic series. April 7, 2020
Corona Virus homework #10: Comic series. April 7, 2020
Corona Virus homework #20: The Dragon at Work (Comic series). April 20, 2020
Corona Virus homework #20: The Dragon at Work (Comic series). April 20, 2020
Corona Virus homework #18: Comic series. April 14, 2020
Corona Virus homework #18: Comic series. April 14, 2020

Jessica Stockholder: Tied to be fit

Date: January 15 – March 6, 2021
Place: Max Estrella Gallery, Santo Tomé 6, patio 28004 Madrid, España Max Estrella Gallery

Max Estrella is delighted to present Jessica Stockholder’s (Seattle, 1959) most recent work. The exhibition is titled Tied to be fit, and includes a series of pieces named Corona Homeworks and the installation Assist: Tied to be fit – Middle Period, which gives the exhibition its title.

Jessica Stockholder is considered one of the most influential contemporary artists of our time. Through architecture and public space, she develops a sculptural practice that results both in monumental creations and in assemblages of different materials and shapes. Symbiosis between color and materials generates pictorial and sculptural forms that resonate in unison, lacking any hierarchies. Both lines of work are present here, her third exhibition at Max Estrella.

In the artist’s words, “The Homeworks were made in my home during the time that my studio, which is on the campus of the University of Chicago, was inaccessible to me during the Coronavirus lockdown. They were made with various different kinds of paper, fabrics, paint, markers, pencil crayons, glue and a sewing machine. At the outset I aimed to make one every day. How we manage to live and work with the limits of our circumstances is how we generate meaning and beauty. I took up the challenge presented by my reduced circumstances with interest and pleasure, and from the quiet of my home I put together these works while I watched, and felt, the weight of tragedy unfolding around me.”

Assist: Tied to be fit – Middle Period is the most recent addition to a series of works titled Assists. These works don’t stand up on their own and require some kind of a prop. The piece was fabricated in Madrid following direction embodied by a small maquette. The rope was the starting point – left over from elsewhere. The rope, like the roots of a very aggressive bamboo plant, snakes its way, back and forth, through the gallery walls. And, like a piece of hardware, the rest of the work is bolted to the floor and the wall, making clear that though ‘elsewhere’ may figure highly, this installation of the work is here and now beckoning to the breathing, moving body, as if to offer a seat.

Jessica Stockholder lives and works in Chicago. She has exhibited extensively in United States and Europe, in prominent institutions such as the Dia Center for the Arts, Beacon; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Middelheimmuseum, Antwerp; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Power Plant, Toronto; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; PS1 New York; SITE, Santa Fé; Venice Biennial; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen and The Contemporary, Austin, among others. Her work is part of numerous collections, including the Chicago Art Institute, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, LACMA, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Centraal Museum, Utrecht and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. During her career, she has received numerous awards, such as the Lucelia Artist by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2018, she was chosen for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Tied to be fit will be on display in Madrid’s Max Estrella Gallery from January 15 to March 6, 2021.

Kunstplatz Graben: Slip Slidin’ Away

Jessica Stockholder: Slip Slidin’ Away. Installation, Kunstplatz Graben, Wien, AT, 2019

Jessica Stockholder: Slip Slidin’ Away. Installation, Kunstplatz Graben, Wien, AT, 2019

Slip Slidin’ Away collage
Slip Slidin’ Away collage

Jessica Stockholder: Slip Slidin’ Away

Date: Opening June 27, 2019
Place: Kunstplatz Graben, Höhe Graben Nr. 21, 1010 Wien
KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum   Public Art Vienna

In Jessica Stockholder’s site-related works, a fictive world intersects the real one. The artist uses everyday objects as part of her toolkit, making use of their color, scale, and materiality, and conceives compositions that enter into a dialogue with their surroundings. Depending on the position and pace of passers-by, pictures form and fade, adding new, temporary perspectives to a familiar site.
In her sculpture for the Kunstplatz Graben, titled Slip Slidin‘ Away, the shapes of a car, a street lamp, and a flag or slide, together with a geometric floor painting, create a situation that appears concrete and abstract at the same time. A signpost, which on one side reflects its surroundings, and on the other shows an aerial view of the sculpture, emphasizes both the performative and pictorial character of the scene. “We humans use metaphors to build elaborate abstract and concrete structures to live within,” says Stockholder. “This is how I find form to be full of significance.”

Slip Slidin‘ Away will be on display in Vienna’s Kunstplatz Graben from June 28 to November 5, 2019.

Centraal Museum presents Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters

Centraal Museum presents Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters
Centraal Museum presents Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters

Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters

Date: Opening April 19, 2019
Place: Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Centraal Museum

Exhibition catalogue Read/download exhibition catalogue in PDF format

This summer, Centraal Museum presents Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters. Jessica Stockholder (USA 1959) came to fame in the early 1990s with colourful and picturesque as well as monumental installations. In her work, Stockholder combines all sorts of everyday items – ranging from umbrellas and cushions to furniture and lamps – to form an overwhelming composition. Through her playful manipulation of form and colour, she is able to transform the entire room.

With her open-minded approach to the world, Stockholder aims to disrupt our usual view of the items and materials that surround us daily, and to subvert our notions regarding what’s worthwhile and worthless.

In this exhibition, Jessica Stockholder acts as both artist and curator. In addition to a retrospective of her oeuvre, she applies her unique perspective to select objects from the museum’s various collections. The exhibition Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters will run from 19 April to 1 September 2019.

Galerie nächst St. Stephan

Lay of the Land (detail)
Lay of the Land (detail)

Jessica Stockholder: “Snug Parting”

Date: Opening May 21, 2016
Place: Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna, Austria
Galerie nächst St. Stephan

We are proud to present the third solo exhibition at our gallery of the American artist Jessica Stockholder. In addition to the room-filling work Lay of the Land, we will also show several of her more recent works.
 Jessica Stockholder has been creating abstract and complex three-dimensional pictures that combine a broad variety of everyday objects since the 1980s. Her work is born out of artistic traditions like Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, Pop art, and ready-mades and has continued to contribute to the dialogue between painting, sculpture, and installation. Located between the poles of pictorial effect and three-dimensional presence, her works lend meaning to the space they occupy. 
Stockholder selects the objects she uses based on their material and color qualities. With the trained eye of a painter, she collects buckets, flooring material, fake furs, lamps, doors, and Lego pieces and assembles these with colored ropes or chains before creating a coherent appearance through acrylic and wall paint. The end result represents a complex relationship between the illusionistic space of painting and the physical presence of sculpture — between painted reality and the reality of painting.
 Although the objects remind us of their use in everyday life and hence our own subjective experience, Stockholder’s works are purely formalist and abstract and therefore free from symbolic or narrative meaning. Rather, they represent a clash of different types of perception; they question our sense of reality, which we understand with the help of abstractions and systems of order.
 The room-filling work Lay of the Land is a bold assemblage of large drop-lights, orange shopping baskets, wooden bar stools with convex traffic mirrors attached, and an oriental rug. The mirrors, which are used to make blind spots in traffic visible, bring an additional perspective and perceptual level into the work and remind us of how Stockholder keeps the remarkable variety of elements in her works in line. Lay of the Land was originally created in 2014 for the international art exhibition “Contemporary Art & Design” in the hills around Piacenza in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. For this show, Stockholder has adapted the work to the dimensions of the first room in our gallery. On the walls and floors of the other rooms, we are presenting several other works by Stockholder that call our attention to the deluge of everyday objects, which she carefully arranges in her powerful and decidedly unsentimental compositions to appeal to our senses and worldly perception.

Color Jam Houston

Jessica Stockholder: “Color Jam Houston”

Date: Through March 2017
Place: downtown Houston, Texas, USA
Kavi Gupta Gallery

A vibrant blast of geometric shapes has taken over the intersection of McKinney and Main streets, crawling on top of buildings, light fixtures and sidewalks. Color Jam Houston by Jessica Stockholder, still in progress, represents the social and political balance between individual rights, freedoms, responsibilities and our collective well-being and coexistence.

Galerie Nathalie Obadia

Jessica Stockholder. Detail of “Gross National Growth” 2014
Jessica Stockholder. Detail of “Gross National Growth” 2014

Jessica Stockholder: “Palpable Glyphic Rapture”

Date: January 22 – March 14, 2015
Place: Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France
Galerie Nathalie Obadia

Studio International interview

Studio International interview

Date: January 9, 2015
Interviewer: Natasha Kurchanova

Jessica Stockholder talks about her work, which combines painting, sculpture, installation and language in a unique creation that calls for a close personal encounter with the viewer.

Studio International

Art Basel Miami Public Beach

Jessica Stockholder. Installation view: Angled Tangle. Art Basel Miami, 2014. Steel, aluminium, auto paint, light fixtures, plastic bollards, gravel. Site-specific installation. Photograph: Joseph Rynkiewicz. Courtesy of the artist, Kavi Gupta Gallery, and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY.
Jessica Stockholder. Installation view: Angled Tangle. Art Basel Miami, 2014. Steel, aluminium, auto paint, light fixtures, plastic bollards, gravel. Site-specific installation. Photograph: Joseph Rynkiewicz. Courtesy of the artist, Kavi Gupta Gallery, and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY.

 

Angled Tangle

Date: December 2014
Place: Art Basel Miami, Florida

C.Ar.D. Contemporary Art & Design

Lay_001-WEB-150x150
A situation titled “Erstwhile & Notwithstanding” part of the C.Ar.D. Contemporary Art & Design exhibition in Pianello, Italy. (Work in the foreground titled “Lay of the Land.”) August, 2014

A series of exhibitions, installations, and events by artists, photographers, and designers in the hills around Piacenza, Italy from September 12 – October 12, 2014. Including a large selection of work by Jessica Stockholder and work by the following artists: Duilio Forte, Christopher Broadbent, Denis Santachiara, Marco Ferreri, Barney Kulok, Svetlana Alpers, James Hyde, Barney Kulok, Cascina Masarola, Paola Anziché, Giordano Pozzi, Studio Formafantasma, Rocca d’Olgisio, Attilio Stocchi, Alice Cattaneo, Rashawn Griffin, Alice Cattaneo, Ezra Johnson, Fabienne Lasserre, Donna Moylan, Ron Gilad, David Alexander Flinn.