one: wood, cloth, clothes line, wire lath, oil and acrylic paint two: 3 green light bulbs, light fixture, oil, enamel and acrylic paint, styrofoam, carpet, newspaper, magazines, glue, metal, street lamp shade, cloth and hardware
96.5 x 78.7 x 284.5cm
Klaus Ottmann: What are the most important issues in your work?
Jessica Stockholder: My work developed through the process of making site-specific installationsâ€”site-specific sometimes in very specific ways but also just by virtue of being "art" in a room; there's at least that much going on between the work and its context; after all, paintings don't hang on trees. In all of the work I place something I make in relationship to what's already there. With installations it's the building, the architecture, or you might say, it's the place that I work on top of; with the smaller pieces I work on top of or in relation to stuff that I collect. I don't see a dichotomy between formalism and something else. Form and formal relations are important because they mean something; their meaning grows out of our experiences as physical mortal beings of a particular scale in relationship to the world as we find it and make it. I don't buy that formalism is meaningless.
Ottmann: Is there a particular aesthetic involved when you look for materials?
Stockholder: It doesn't matter what I use. It can be anything. What's interesting is how what I'm doing meets with the stuff I use. But then it's not entirely true to say that. I also choose things for particular reasons though not according to a particular aesthetic. More often I avoid the development of a cohesive look that will too powerfully direct the work in only one direction. A lot of people have written about my work in terms of junk. That I sometimes use junk doesn't seem of central importance to me. I use all kinds of things, old and new. Much of the stuff I use could be found in your living room.
Jessica Stockholder: a merging of mediums: since the 1980s, Stockholder has used everyday items and liberally applied paint to create distinctive sculpture-painting hybrids. A traveling survey of her sculptures goes on view this month at the Weatherspoon Art Museumby Frances Colpitt
The concept of sculpture has changed so much in recent decades that most of what is currently classified as sculpture bears little resemblance to the millennia-old tradition of carved or cast figures. Practically any three-dimensional object serving a decorative, esthetic or conceptual purpose is now viewed as sculpture. The shift occurred in the 1960s, when Donald Judd argued that his planar wooden forms were not sculptures since they were neither "sculpted" nor statues. Sculpture, he proclaimed in 1965, "is finished." In the late '60s, Earth artist Michael Heizer declared that "the idea of sculpture has been destroyed, subverted, put down." But sculpture, like painting, refused to die; instead, it was redefined to include the works of the very artists who rejected it.