new-york

Jessica Stockholder

Gorney Bravin + Lee

There’s a lot to be said for the tacky, abject allure of thick paint on fake fur or plush pile carpet. Paint out of bounds almost always looks like a mistake, even when you know it isn’t. Since she began gaining attention for her distressed constructions in the mid-’80s, Jessica Stockholder’s sluggish, amateurish, temperamental interventions with paint have displaced the familiarity that clings to the everyday objects in her three-dimensional compositions and emphasized abstract values instead. With her crude swathes and blobs, she has consistently sabotaged surfaces and forced outlandish correspondences, to the point where things are mucked up past the point of retrieval; which, in turn, functions as an initializing ground in her work.

Early on, Stockholder’s freestanding assemblages and installation-size sprawls had the ability to surprise, even to arrest, the viewer. It wasn’t just that

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