Stefanie Victor

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Artist Statement

My ongoing project of metal sculptures called Sculptures for Margaret is named for the jewelry designer Margaret De Patta. De Patta’s studio jewelry in the 1960s and 70s engaged a dialog between fine art, design, and craft, through pieces informed by Constructivist ideas and her Chicago Bauhaus education. This project responds to her work by combining materials associated with jewelry and allusions to wearability, with references to contemporaneous 60s and 70s minimal and environmental sculpture, as well as to playground equipment, tableware, toys, hardware, headware, etc. That is, my sculptures are as informed by histories of abstraction in fine art and craft as they are by the circumstance and the rhythms of my day-to-day life.

Sized for domestic spaces like a bookshelf or windowsill, their small scale refers to objects we see, touch, own, and live with in our homes. My approach to the installation of my work seeks to invoke this domestic context by reflecting my own relationship to it and encouraging viewers to have their own private, close encounters. More recently, I’ve sought to broaden these possibilities by directly anchoring pieces in walls and corners, considering how they might relate to – or disrupt – a room.

I’ve recently also returned to working with cloth, a medium I had explored before working with metal. These new pieces, made of dark cloth that has been partly dyed and then bleached, serve as both a support and foil to the sculptures. Placed underneath a sculpture, the fabric might refer to the functionality of a tablecloth save for the particularity of its arrangement. A closer look might reveal uneven edges and subtle color shifts produced by the way they are bleached and dyed. On their own, the cloths might be closer to a folded, tactile painting.

There is a particular kind of intimacy that develops between me and my pieces over the course of working on them. My process is slow and deliberative. Decisions are hinged on striking the right balance between something that looks familiar and something unknown. I try to find forms which feel ‘right’ at their scale – objects that are neither models for something larger nor ever truly functional or wearable. I am closely involved in every stage of the making of my work, and I continue to study metalsmithing in order to fabricate each sculpture by hand.

Jewelry and metal ornament more broadly have historically played a significant role in commemorating personal ritual, and they still do today. Jewelry has an emotional symbolism and degree of sentimentality that is rarely associated with contemporary art. Fabric is something we wear and touch, wash and fold. My work harbors these references in a gesture to shift the often removed viewer-art relationship towards a more personal owner-object one, towards something more intimate.

CV

EDUCATION

2009
Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut
MFA, Painting
2004
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
BFA, Printmaking

EXHIBITIONS

2016
Capital, Stefanie Victor/Christopher Garrett, San Fransisco, CA (forthcoming September)
2015
Four A.M., Stefanie Victor/Cuyler Remick, New York, New York
2015-16
PS1/MoMA, Greater New York, New York, New York
2011
Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, The Usefulness of Useless Things, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2009
Participant Inc, Nothing Up My Sleeve, New York, New York
2005
The Drawing Center, Lineage: Selections, New York, New York

PROJECTS

2014
Essay ‘Yes, But, and Still’ published in Ohio Edit
2013
Invisible Exports AMC edition and interview (August artist)

AWARDS

2015
Rema Hort Mann Foundation Nominee
United States Artists Nominee
2010
Rema Hort Mann Foundation Nominee
2009
Helen W. Winternitz Award, Yale University School of Art
2003-2004
European Honors Program, Rhode Island School of Design, Rome, Italy

RESIDENICIES

2015
Haystack Open Studio Residency (awarded)
2006
MacDowell Colony Residency Fellowship, Visual Arts

TEACHING 

2012-present
Grace Church School High School, New York, New York
Visual Art Coordinator, Art Teacher
2011-2012
Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut
Visiting Assistant Professor
2009-2012
Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Adjunct Professor