Jessica Stockholder


Department of Visual Arts and the College

Jessica Stockholder, an artist whose work has transformed the traditional conception of sculpture,is interested in how experience of the physical world, its form, and our form determine how and what we are capable of thinking. Both the structure of our perceptual apparatus (eyes, brain, size) and the given nature of the cosmos are the foundation for thought and understanding. She specifically focuses on ascertaining the nature of an experience and noticing how the world we live in is meaningful in a very direct way. Through this process of inquiry she has become interested in and concerned about the nature of the objects we make use of, which are made in myriad countries using a vast array of different skills, crafts, and systems. They reference very different time periods and carry with them and reference many different histories.

Stockholder, who has also been appointed chair of the Department of Visual Arts, has won international acclaim for her genre-defying multimedia installation pieces, which incorporate found objects and painting in bold, vibrant colors. In 2007, she received the Lucelia Artist Award, which recognizes exceptional American artists under 50, from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Her new, nonchalantly precise arrangements of everyday stuff—fake fur, socks, plastic bowls, a surfboard, a lamp, a plastic shower curtain—look both unsinkably fresh and supremely formal,” the New Yorker wrote of Stockholder’s work in 2009.

She received an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from the University of Victoria. 

Stockholder joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2011.

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