May 1 - Aug 15, 2009

Jessica Stockholder: Flooded Chambers Maid

The Madison Square Park Conservancy continues its 2009 season of Mad. Sq. Art with Flooded Chambers Maid, a site-specific multimedia installation on and around Madison Square Park’s Oval Lawn by genre-bending sculptor, painter and installation artist Jessica Stockholder.


For more than two decades, Jessica Stockholder has been fashioning a new language for sculpture and installation art, one that applies a painter’s sense of form, pattern, texture and color to three dimensional spaces through the use of a staggering variety of media, from heavy duty construction material to mass-produced commercial products and even live horticulture.Her sculptural and architectural interventions spread themselves over the spaces they occupy; planes of vivid Technicolor hues abut precisely arranged and patterned objects and assemblages of unlikely materials combine and bloom amidst the colorful chaos.

Inspired by the interplay of natural and man-made patterns in the design of Madison Square Park and born of an experiential approach to art making, Flooded Chambers Maid is anchored by a 1300 sq. ft. arrow-shaped platform sprawling across the northern end of the park’s Oval Lawn. The platform—a wildly colorful and intricately-patterned combination of custom cut and colored industrial steel and molded fiberglass grating—emerges from a shock of colored rubber mulch to spread itself across the lawn, enveloping a tree and stretching to reach the pathway surrounding the Oval Lawn. The platform’s dynamic pop colors, so characteristic of Stockholder’s work, spill from the edge of the platform and Oval Lawn across the bordering pathway, leading to an equally colorful staircase and viewing platform installed on one of the smaller adjacent lawns. From this elevated perspective,  visitors are invited to view the installation’s garden: swaths of bright flowers and boldlycolored plastic bins and buckets that sweep across the small adjoining lawn in an energetic and ever-changing expanse.

The resulting installation bears all the hallmarks of Stockholder’s work while effortlessly embracing both the landscape and ethos of Madison Square Park. Bold, colorful, idiosyncratic and inviting, Flooded Chambers Maid exemplifies the welcoming and playful spirit that has made the new Madison Square Park such a beloved public space.

About Jessica Stockholder

Jessica Stockholder was born in Seattle, WA, and lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. She received a degree in painting from the University of British Columbia and an MFA from Yale University, where she is currently the Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture. Known for a multi-genre artistic practice described as “painting in space,” Stockholder’s mixed-media installations bring together materials as disparate as industrial steel, live horticulture, buckets, bowling balls, cars, furniture, fans and food. The resulting site-specific interventions effect a vivid and energetic transformation upon their host spaces, introducing areas of vibrant color, varied textures and precise patterns and forms that travel up  walls, around corners, out windows and across lawns.

Stockholder has exhibited extensively and to great acclaim in the United States and  abroad since the mid-1980s, including at Dia Center for the Arts, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; P.S. 1, New York; SITE Santa Fe; the Venice Biennale; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Her work is included in many significant public collections, including those of the Art Institute of Chicago; The British Museum, London; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Saatchi & Saatchi Collection, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lucelia Artist Award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the John Solomon Guggenheim Fellowship Award for Visual Art. She is represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Galerie Nathalie Obadia and Galerie Nächst St.  Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder.

Flooded Chambers Maid will be on view concurrently with two exhibitions of Jessica  Stockholder’s work: at Mitchell-Innes & Nash (opening May 7) and Senior & Shopmaker  Gallery (opening May 21).

Major Support for Mad. Sq. Art is provided by Founding Partners Agnes Gund and Anonymous. Substantial support is provided by Ronald A. Pizzuti, Toby Devan Lewis and the Henry Luce Foundation. Support for Flooded Chambers Maid is provided by Toby Devan Lewis, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Galerie Nathalie Obadia and Galerie Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder. This project is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Mad. Sq. Art is made possible by the leadership and generosity of the many friends of the  Madison Square Park Conservancy.