Helen Stoller (American, b. 1915); Collage.

Artist Jessica Stockholder to Deliver the Annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art

For immediate release: September 4, 2012

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) announced today that renowned artist Jessica Stockholder will deliver the Annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art. The lecture will take place on Thursday, September 27 at 7:00 pm at the Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus. This is a free public event and all are invited to attend.

An internationally recognized artist, Jessica Stockholder is a pioneer of multimedia installation art. Her innovative work has been influential for an entire generation of younger artists. Stockholder’s art explores color, form, and space. Her site-specific works leave no part of a space out of bounds. By using the floor, walls, ceiling, and sometimes even spilling out of windows and doors into the surrounding landscape, she incorporates architecture and its interior and exterior spaces into her works of art. Talking about the exploration of physical boundaries, Stockholder says, “The question of how we exist as individuals within a larger whole from which we are inseparable, and how we manage this juncture resonates with hundreds of years of philosophy, psychology and history.” In a single work, Stockholder uses a myriad of materials that might include curtains, toys, laundry baskets, coolers, kitchen utensils, bowling balls, construction materials, plywood, concrete, and sheetrock. To these vibrantly colored products from our consumer culture, she adds painted areas of colorful shapes. The found objects and raw materials she uses are commonplace, but she assembles them so as to give importance, weight, and new meanings to things we normally perceive as having little or no value. Explaining her work on her website Stockholder says, “I work with color, form and composition exploring the links between emotive and thoughtful response. My works provide an opportunity to reify internal mind/feeling space. For a moment the abstract insubstantial nature of feeling/thoughts can be experienced as external and embodied by material.” Stockholder’s art is vibrant, energetic, and intellectually rigorous. Her decisions about color and composition balance the chaotic and idiosyncratic nature of her work.

The Annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art

The Plonsker Family Lecture Series in Contemporary Art was established in 1994 by Madeleine Plonsker, Harvey Plonsker (Class of 1961) and their son, Ted Plonsker (Class of 1986), to examine current issues in contemporary art. Past events include the symposium “Jackson Pollock: Beneath the Surface, A Tribute to Kirk Varnedoe ’67″ and lectures by acclaimed artists Gregory Crewdson, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Kerry James Marshall, Vik Muniz, Carolee Schneemann, and Kara Walker.

About the artist

Born in Seattle, Washington in 1959, Jessica Stockholder was brought up in Vancouver, Canada. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Victoria, Canada and her M.F.A. from Yale University. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe, at such venues as the Dia Center for the Arts, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Open Air Museum in Belgium, the Whitney Museum of American Art, P.S. 1, SITE Santa Fe, the Venice Biennale, and Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery in New York. Her work is represented in various collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. She has received numerous grants including the Lucelia Artist Award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and several grants from the Canada Council. After twelve years as Director of the Sculpture Department at the Yale School of Art, in July of 2011 Stockholder joined the University of Chicago faculty as Professor and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts (DOVA) in the Humanities. One of Stockholder’s newest installations is Color Jam. Commissioned by Chicago Loop Alliance, Color Jam is the city’s largest art installation to date—saturating the building facades, sidewalks, and crosswalks of a major downtown intersection in bold colors.

Williams College Museum of Art

The Williams College Museum of Art is located on Main Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The museum is wheelchair accessible and open to the public. Admission is FREE. For more information, contact the museum at (413) 597-2429 or visit wcma.williams.edu.