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In a site-specific Threshold series installation, Jessica Stockholder transforms the Smart’s lobby with a wave of color and texture that climbs to the clerestory, cuts across the floor, and travels outwards into the Museum’s sculpture garden. Rose’s Inclination makes use of ordinary materials—thrift store lamps, paint, Plexiglas, carpet, and even mulch—to “reach up and out” and vibrantly alter the physical experience of the Smart Museum’s modernist architecture.

Stockholder is Professor and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. Art21 deemed her “a pioneer of multimedia genre-bending installations that have become a prominent language in contemporary art.” Rose’s Inclination is only her second public installation in Chicago since she arrived in 2011—the first being Color Jam (2012), which took over a busy intersection in the Loop and was one of the largest public art installations in the city’s history.

Rose’s Inclination is to reach up and out. She slips under and over, and weaves into the landscape while flapping towards the sky.

She is painted on the walls, embodied by carpet on the floor, and her spirited entry into the world is carried by daylight streaming in through glass and by lamplight. Her essence is flapping in the wind as the doors are opened and closed.

Rose plays a part in the Smart foyer. She includes visitors, tables, chairs, and coffee in her drama. She acknowledges and mirrors her surroundings; she is contained by the museum, and wears it like a close fitting jacket, though she is bursting through the seams. At times she is reminiscent of plant parts pushing through material so slowly that the eye can’t detect the motion.

She is like the plant in the Little Shop of Horrors film growing bigger and bigger and more demanding. She is greedy and hungry. Her infiltration of the ground creates instability. The design of the building, the Smart courtyard, and by extension the sidewalks, and the grid of the city, could morph at any moment. The cumulous cloud of subjectivity that is each one of us—clattering words in mind and falling out of mouth—feelings in body, filling self-awareness and driving action—pass through her rosy glow.

— Jessica Stockholder

Curator

Jessica Moss, Smart Museum Associate Curator for Contemporary Art

All images: Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Paint, carpet, fragment of Judy Ledgerwood's, painting, branches, rope, Plexiglas, light
fixtures, hardware, extension cord, mulch, Smart Museum foyer, courtyard, and sidewalks
Object credit line: The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago;
Courtesy of the artist, Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery, and Kavi Gupta Gallery
Image credit line: Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Slideshow

Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Jessica Stockholder, Rose's Inclination, 2015
Photograph ©2015 courtesy of The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago