Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Power Stockholder

At a lecture recently, the speaker alleged that Jessica Stockholder's work is about power. To the pages of my (still unread) blog, I want to disagree. Stockholder's work, in my opinion, rests on three primary "ideas":

1. the idea of painting in space.

2. the idea that materials have their own associated meanings/resonations in the minds of each of us, and thus incorporating and manipulating materials evokes these mind meanings: and the mind struggling to synthesize these fragementary associations is performing its own art: creating a cubism of the mind.

3. the idea of art as manifest destiny.

I think that one of the myriad roles of art in our culture is that of a manifest destiny, a place to aspire to: Just as there were bible stories on fresco walls and decadent society women in 18th century painting, art has been a projection of our promised land, on an individual level and a societal level. Stockholder's art--large, enveloping, familiar yet strange, playful-- is a 3-dimensional fantasy world of the mind, embedded with the rustic materiality of our human experiences. It is the best possible future we could image for our minds.

For more on Jessica Stockholder and her work click HERE.