Jessica Stockholder American, b. 1959

Jessica Stockholder (b. 1959, USA) is an internationally acclaimed visual artist and educator who lives and works in Chicago. Her public artworks have been commissioned by museums, municipalities, and corporations around the world.

 

As an artist, Stockholder is inspired by the relationships she perceives between colors and objects in her everyday visual environment. Her work employs the visual strategies of painting, sculpture, and installation—though it also resists the limitations such terms imply. Another word sometimes used to describe what Stockholder does is “assemblage,” though that term is also not quite sufficient. Assemblage artists perceive of consumer products, manufactured objects, and industrial materials—the cast-off physical residue of human civilization—as artistic objects in themselves, or as artistic mediums equally valid as paint, stone, or glue.

 

Stockholder indeed utilizes “readymade” articles along with traditional artistic mediums, but not in an attempt to make an object, per se. Rather, she is endeavoring to create a human experience by formulating three-dimensional pictures in space, which interact in unpredictable ways with the environments they occupy. Whether working on a small scale, such as creating an assemblage that will hang on a wall, or a massive scale, such as creating a sculptural installation that extends from inside a building to the outside, she is exploring a larger concern: people’s perception of their visual surroundings, and how that perception relates to feelings of chaos and control.