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Jessica Stockholder [Hardcover]

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Item description for Jessica Stockholder by John Yau Gottlieb Leinz...

Through the poetic clash of everyday materials, diverse surfaces, pop colors and patterns galore, Jessica Stockholder has achieved an aesthetic that is at once hot pink, wooly, artificial and quilted. Somewhere in between assemblage and painting, her three-dimensional installations and reliefs violently juxtapose the everyday with the strange, the banal with the familiar, opposites with similarities, the artificial with the natural, kitsch with class, glitz with frumpiness. Found objects from flea markets sit atop mass products from department stores, the whole a whirlwind of narrative suggestion and abstract color and form. This volume features documentation of one of Stockholder's temporary installations as well as many reproductions of her studio works and drawings.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 12.06" Width: 9.04" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   2.22 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Richter Verlag
ISBN  3933807824  
ISBN13  9783933807823  

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Sculpture > General
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Jessica Stockholder?

Pretty. Pretty vacant.  Jun 21, 2001
Here's another installment in Phaidon's almost flawless Contemporary Artists series. Aside from a gorgeous and colorful presentation, each book includes a lengthy artist interview, a survey of the artist's career and catalog, a focused critical look at a single work or series, a collection of the artist's own writings, an artist-selected collection of writings which they find relevant to their work, and finally a detailed chronology of the artist's showings and publications and an extensive bibliography. This is a great way to be introduced to an artist's work or to better understand already familiar material. And it makes a perfectly packaged single volume to add to a collection.

I'd seen photos of Stockholder's installations and was excited for more. When I found she had a volume in this series I was thrilled. As I'd hoped, there were more photos of even more fantastic installations - massive, colorful, and complicated constructions of as many different materials and textures as you can imagine. It all looked great.

But my enthusiasm quickly faded. Reading the artist interview I found her to be not just a devout disciple of the art-for-art's-sake formalist school, but downright giddy about the idea. That's not a BAD thing, though its really not MY thing, but to get a perspective on where this formalism is coming from, check out some of these quotes. "I've always felt uncomfortable in museums and galleries. There's a kind of deadening in those places that I work in response to." Huh. "Even so, I love what the art institution makes possible . . . it's a place where you can express anything, and explore any thing without hurting your neighbor" (13). On her creative process she says, "I begin in a very physical place, without a lot of words. . . . There's a quiet - there are no words for what I'm going to do" (14). So if this kind of serious thinking appeals to you, go buy the book I guess, but this stuff just kept coming and systematically grated on each of my nerves. To me she came off like a beret-clad sophomore art student from a "Doug" cartoon.

Next, viewers interested in considering her work in terms of content are left grasping at straws. The titles attached to her installations allude to a possible allegorical content (which on some occasions makes superficial connections with the materials used in the installations), begging for a psychoanalytic reading. Based on what I read in this book, there isn't too much of interest through that door, and she doesn't really tell us much to base such an analysis on. Another direction to take is to take the temporary nature of her work as a reaction against notions of art as a commodity. The book put that on the table, and it made sense. And though, yes, you can say that, the same can be said for the whole of installation art dating back decades before Stockholder got her hands in it. By not offering any real direction (certainly I didn't find any such thing in this book) on the issue of meaning or subject matter she's made a number of critics wary. Myself, after the admittedly powerful initial reaction to the brightness and color in her installations, I'm left empty and bored.

This is not to say that I find Stockholder's work completely without value. Her work does have a strong impact on a lot of people. And she has a great eye. Also, there is a fantastic article by Jack Bankowsky (from the Oct. 1990 issue of "Artforum") I highly recommend. He has a pretty interesting take on why her work is interesting. But based on this book alone, I was ready to write Stockholder off entirely. And even now I'd have to say Stockholder's work is not my cup of tea at all.

amazing  Nov 30, 2000
While working on an installation of my own at my school, my teacher brought out this book he wanted me to look at. I was instantly amazed at the first page I opened up to. Her work is so incredibly colorful and emotive - I was/am in love. The bit of text I happened to read seemed to be very well written and I know Phaidon to be publishers of VERY good textual and graphic books. There are many beautiful illustrations and it's overall just a nice piece to own.. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone more interested in color or installation work. PICK IT UP!

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