Jessica Stockholder
Hollow Places Court in Ash-Tree Wood

June 26 to December 31, 2011

In the spring of 2009, The Aldrich cut down an ailing 100-year-old ash tree in the Sculpture Garden. Sculptor Jessica Stockholder, not primarily known for working with natural materials, has collaborated with cabinetmaker Clifford Moran and screenprinter Gary Lichtenstein to utilize the wood from the tree to create a new project that will be on view in two of The Aldrich’s galleries, one of which offers a view of the site where the tree once stood, from June 26 to December 31, 2011.

Hollow Places Court in Ash-Tree Wood connects Stockholder’s continuing interest in ephemeral abstraction with the solidity, continuity of place, and sense of time that trees represent. The major elements in the exhibition are two large freestanding sculptures that resemble folding screens. Fabricated from boards cut from the wood of the tree, they were conceived by Stockholder as static armatures that she has activated with various types of paint, from auto lacquer to acrylic, visually suggesting walls (or a gallery) filled with pictures. Some of the forms represented reference eyes, mirroring the viewer’s gaze and suggesting both the accumulated experience of the tree and the fleeting experience of the viewer.

Exhibitions director Richard Klein explains, “This tree had such a major presence in the Sculpture Garden for so many years, that the Museum wanted to remember it properly. After considering many artists whose practice involved wood working, we decided to give it to someone who is not known for working with wood, an edgier and ultimately more interesting proposition that would expand Stockholder’s concerns into new territory. This ash-tree wood replaced the industrial materials which Stockholder is known for using while tapping into her childhood memories of the forests in British Columbia. Hollow Places Court in Ash-Tree Wood is the latest example of work by an artist who consistently follows visual inquiry in ways that defy expectation.”

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will celebrate the opening of Jessica Stockholder: Hollow Place Court in Ash-Tree Wood along with five other Collaborations exhibitions at a reception where guests are invited to meet the artists, on Sunday, June 26, 2011, from 3 to 5 pm ($7 adults; $4 seniors; FREE for members, pre-K-12 teachers, and children 18 and under). FREE onsite parking is available, as is round-trip transportation from the Metro North Katonah Train Station to the Museum for the June 26 afternoon reception only. Also on view: Chelpa Ferro: Visual Sound; Kate Eric: One Plus One Minus One; MTAA: All the Holidays All at Once; Type A: Barrier and Trigger; and Judi Werthein: Do You Have Time?

The Aldrich is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works. The official media sponsors of exhibition openings are Ridgefield Magazine and WSHU Public Radio.

Open publication

The Artists: Stockholder, who was born in Seattle, has had many international exhibitions in her twenty-five year career, including major solo exhibitions at Palacio de Cristal, Reina Sofia, Madrid; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; The Power Plant, Toronto; Dia Center for the Arts, New York; and Kunsthalle Zürich. Her work is in numerous public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; The British Museum, London; the Whitney Musum of American Art, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Stockholder has recently been appointed Chair of the Department of Visual Art at the University of Chicago, effective July 2011.

Top of page: Jessica Stockholder, Hollow Places Court in Ash-Tree Wood (partial installation view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield), 2011
Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
Photo: Chad Kleitsch