Jessica Stockholder (born 1959) is famous for her unique, idiosyncratic, and esoteric installations, which have continued to enthrall all the art lovers alike. Her ingenious artwork has also garnered her, the famous Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s Lucelia Artist Award, which projects her as one of the key contemporary artists of this period. Jessica Stockholder has mostly worked on ‘Installation Art,’ where an art piece occupies ‘installation’ space. Therefore, the ‘Installation Art’ is more sites specific in nature. Jessica’s installations flirted with several art styles, such as ‘Abstract Expressionism,’ ‘Color Field Painting,’ ‘Installation,’ and ‘Minimalism.’ The wide spread of style experimentations reflect her transitory state of mind, which kept turning prominent with her new artworks. Achieving milestones after milestones through the years, Jessica’s installation that stands out is entitled as “Made of Two Elements,” created in 1990.
Stockholder builds her installations out of some of the commonest everyday objects, building a unique relationship among them. She employed the same strategy in her “Made of Two Elements.” She wanted to bring about an aesthetic feel to the artwork by connecting these objects in a particular environment, with no traditional boundaries between art sculptures and installations. During the installation of “Made of Two Elements,” Stockholder divided the section in two work forms and then tried to diffuse the precincts between the two sections. In the first part, she used wood, clothes, and acrylic paints, whereas in the other section she used wires, light bulbs, newspapers, carpet, glue, and magazines. She placed a wide variety of objects in her installation to portray the transitory thought phases of mind, the conceptual conflict between ‘Abstraction’ and ‘Realism’ on the pedestal of subconscious and conscious thinking process.
The wall in “Made of Two Elements” also plays a significant part, as it binds the two sections of artwork. In fact, the wire of the installation attaches itself to the wall only. These electrical wires are ‘Symbolic’ of vibrant energy, in her artwork. “Made of Two Elements” is also famous for the bold use of colors, adding an intriguing feel to it. The colors do not attempt to unify the two sections, but merely depict the esoteric and the cacophonous nature of Stockholder’s artwork. The colors help the viewer understand the path to “Made of Two Elements.” The colored carpet welcomes the viewer, with the colors leading to the actual work of art. “Made of Two Elements” is definitely a work of sheer brilliance, in which magazines and newspaper articles are ‘visually’ concealed behind the light bulbs.
“Made of Two Elements” is currently displayed at the Saatchi Gallery, UK. The exceptional use of common objects, displaying them artistically, manifests the talent and the intelligence of Stockholder projects. Her ‘Formalist’ and ‘Minimalist’ artwork has been an inspiration to the younger generations.