United by attitude rather than medium or method, Christian Holstad’s work probes received ideas about class, culture, sexuality and society. A keen eye on concepts of high and low informs a body of work that, encompassing sculpture, installation, performance, photography, collage and textiles, is concerned with the construction and manifestation of social and intimate spaces. Holstad's practice has explored domestic and subcultural sites, often exploring and calling into question preconceived notions of identity and desire. His first show in New York was inspired by the story of David Phillip Vetter, the 'boy in the bubble' whose rare genetic immune disorder resulted in having to spend most of his short life in isolation in a plastic bubble. In contrast to the bedroom scene staged for that show, Holstad's 2006 installation Leather Beach included references to S&M clubs, tanning salons, and high-end boutiques.Read More
An interest in the culture of consumerism and the particularities of the contemporary recessionary moment are explored in an ongoing series of soft sculptures works that reference shopping carts. More recently Holstad has examined devotional texts (The Book of Hours, 2013), the various types of borders, boundaries and constraints in our environment that impact our lives, from the political and governmental to the societal and personal (Corrections, 2014) and the visual and emotional encoding and decoding of the domestic sphere versus the external environment. (Toothpick, 2016, at Massimo De Carlo, Milan).
In his ongoing series of Eraserhead drawings the artist selectively erases sections of images cut from newspapers and magazines, transforming their meanings in ways that hint at hidden or subtextual layers beneath the surface of received, media-sanctioned culture.
Holstad was born in Anaheim, California in 1972 and lives and works in New York City. Recent solo exhibitions include Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, 2017 and 2013; Massimo De Carlo, Milan, 2016; Shmidt & Handrup, Cologne, 2016 and 2010; Daniel Reich Gallery, New York, 2009-10; Galleria Civica of Modena, 2009 and Galleria national d'arte moderna, Rome, 2009. The artist presented the multi-disciplinary performance work red, yellow, lime, pink, lavender, green, scarlet, lavender, scarlet, green, lavender as part of The Magazine Sessions 2016 at the Serpentine Galleries, London, and has participated in group exhibitions including Chromaphilia & Chromaphobia, Kansas City Art Institute, 2016; Terra Provocata, Fondazione del Monte and Museo Civico Medievale, Bologna, 2016; From The Ruins..., 601Artspace, New York 2015; Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, Hangzhou, China (2013); Paper, Saatchi Gallery, London 2013; Aquatopia, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, touring to Tate St Ives, 2013; Graphite, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 2013; The Air We Breathe, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2011; Coming After, The Power Plant, Toronto, 2011; Compilation IV, Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, 2009 and Compass in Hand: Selections from the Judith Rothschild Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2009. His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo.
Text courtesy Victoria Miro.
Victoria Miro stages a group exhibition by artists concerned with socio-political issues of their day, who question the status quo and the power structures found within societies, and who take the language of protest as a means to explore its potency. Inspired by Alice Neel’s 1936 painting Nazis Murder Jews, the exhibition draws together new...
In repressive states, the role of the artist is unambiguous: to assert the individual imagination, the singular power that all dictatorships fear. I remember once talking to the Czech dissident and writer Ivan Klima, who had been subject both to the arbitrary horror of a Nazi concentration camp as a child and the long grinding years of Soviet...
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