press release

Jessica Stockholder
Stuff Matters
April 19–September 1, 2019

In Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters, Jessica Stockholder will for the first will put her works in dialogue with a museum collection. She selected more than sixty works from the Centraal Museum collection, including paintings, furniture, historical objects, design, and fashion by artists such as Maarten Baas, Gustave Courbet, Vincent van Gogh, Iris van Herpen, Hella Jongerius, Gerrit Rietveld, and Maison the Faux.

The exhibition can be understood to revolve around the spirit of a recent series of Stockholder’s works collectively titled Assists, sculptures that cannot remain upright without the support of another object (a "prop") such as a desk or a refrigerator. The visitor is greeted at the outset by Assist: Three squared @ half scale strapped to a stone sculpture (Holy Bishop, early 16th century, anonymous) salvaged from the Utrecht Dome and in the collection of the museum. By way of analogy, the relationship between the Assist and the stone saint calls attention to how various parts of history and life are often interwoven contributing to the fabric of life as we know it. A web created by others props each of us up. None of us stands alone.

The American/Canadian artist Jessica Stockholder (1959) has garnered serious attention and respect for her work which bridges painting and sculpture. With color and abstraction she creates compositions utilizing traditional tools of the artist together with many found objects including refrigerators, security mirrors, extension cords, light fixtures, plywood, plastic containers, a woodchipper, carpets and bar stools to name a few. How the things we use in daily life are full of layered meaning is a focal point of her work. This aspect of her work is resonant with the still life tradition in painting, which is one focus of this exhibition. Her use of this wide array of objects allows for dialog with many different kinds of objects in the Museum’s collection. With a sharp eye, she calls attention to how we value objects, our associations with particular colours and materials, and also how the exhibition space itself is redolent with meaning.

Artistic director Bart Rutten: "Jessica Stockholder’s work, of which I am an enormous fan, fits perfectly with the Centraal Museum Utrecht. In 1992, the Centraal Museum acquired two works by the American/Canadian artist Jessica Stockholder. Now, more than 25 years later, it is with great pleasure that we welcome her to the museum for the exhibition Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters. Alongside unique loans, new sculptures and an installation made specially for the exhibition, we have asked her to ‘use’ the collection in her inimitable fashion. Her non-hierarchical approach, by which she combines so many different materials and objects, aligns well with the wide scope of our collection and thus with our exhibition programme. In her approach, she very carefully selects paint, rope, metal, plastic baskets, and anything colourful, each of which carries equal weight in terms of material expressiveness. By inviting Jessica to link artworks from our own collection to her work, she gives the viewer a fresh perspective on our collection as well. World-famous icons radiate alongside almost forgotten pieces. We are very pleased to celebrate the strength of our collection’s width and depth through her approach."

Starring in this exhibition: Kim Adams (1951), Erik Andriesse (1957-1993), Balthasar van der Ast (1593-1657), Maarten Baas (1978), jhr. Anton Willem den Beer Poortugael (1864-1940), Nathan Begaye (1969-2010), Han van den Berg (1952), Francois Bonvin (1817-1887), Roland Buschmann (1965), Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), Britt Dorenbosch (1986), Susan Folwell (1970), Jacob Gillig (1636-1701), Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Rody Graumans (1968), Wim de Haan (1913-1967), Lieven Hendriks (1970), Iris van Herpen (1984), Dick van Hoff (1971), Hella Jongerius (1963), Michael Kirkham (1971), Klaas Kloosterboer (1959), Pyke Koch (1901-1991), Tetsumi Kudo (1935-1990), Bart van der Leck (1876-1958), Joep van Lieshout (1963), Carel Adolph Lion Cachet (1864-1945), Maison the Faux (2014), Studio Makkink & Bey (2002), Mark Manders (1968), Frank Mandersloot (1960), Albert Neuhuys (1844-1914), Jan van Os (1744-1808), Helen Price, Lydia Radda (1891-1967), Otto van Rees (1884-1957), Tejo Remy (1960), Atelier Remy & Veenhuizen (2000), Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964), Aert Schouman (1710-1792), Floris Verster (1861-1927), Marcel Wanders (1963), Erich Wichman (1890-1929), Jan Wils (1891-1972), Jan Hendricksz, Van Zuylen (1613-1644). With special guests: Louise Lawler (1947) and Edmund de Waal (1964).