American-born and educated artist Madeline Stillwell’s performances, sculptures and installations have been presented at art institutions in Sweden, Germany and North America. Stillwell lectures extensively as a visiting artist and currently teaches performance at several international institutions. She lives and works in Berlin.
Madeline Stillwell’s “Gestural Sculptures,” presented in SomoS 2014 group show Saturation and Decay, incorporate unusual, often industrial materials, as well as trash and found objects from deserted urban commercial spaces. In these challenging and evocative works, she exposes the dangers and difficulties of our daily mental and emotional navigation through the debris of past cultural spheres and concepts.
The tension between the rough and readymade aspect of her found materials and the finessed process of composition initiates a dialogue between the mediums of drawing, performance, and sculpture. In drastic contrast to the materials she uses, Stillwell follows a logic of texture and color which lends a painterly quality to her artwork.
Artist Statement: Madeline Stillwell’s Gestural Sculptures
The “Gestural Sculptures” first began as found objects and ceramic sculptures used during the filming of the artist’s in-studio performance process. Such objects, found on the street, acted upon, and added to, now live as a gestural recording of the space between city and body. One notices this quite literally in a clump of human hair entangled in raw clay, but there are abstract reminders as well. Electrical cords that hang from either side of a pedestal look like tentacles, and metal brackets look like physician’s clamps exposing the fleshy guts of raw material. Clay, like skin, and plaster, like cosmetics, turn the body inside out as they entwine themselves around discarded urban industrial objects. Additionally, one starts to free associate the functions of the everyday objects with new meanings. A sewage pipe takes the shape of a telescope, and a pair of rubber bicycle tubes tied around a ceramic object are reminiscent of a bow encircling a bouquet of flowers. Leftover pieces of torn scrap metal are disguised in pastel prettiness, dressed up like products or pieces of cake. Displayed on glimmering white pedestals, ‘Gestural Sculptures’ elicit opposing sensations of both attraction and repulsion. Functional logic is confronted with intimacy and sensation, and the result addresses a non-verbal language of material feeling.
– Madeline Stillwell, 2014
(USA), b. 1978
2008 MFA, (with honors) Cranbrook Academy of Art, Detroit
2000 BA, Studio Art, (with distinction) St. Olaf College, Minnesota
1999 Art History & Theater Criticism, ACM Arts in Context, Florence & London
Exhibitions & Performances
Movement Matters, Kunstverein Göttingen
The Oracle, The Wand, Berlin
Re-made / Re-used, REH Kunst, Berlin
A Night at the Park, Das Moosdorf, Berlin
Temporary Home, documenta 13, Kassel Kultur, Kassel
Draftsman’s Congress, Berlin Biennale
Madeline Stillwell, Berlin Collective, Berlin
Detail, Galerie Open, Berlin
Take Me With You, Anchor Art Space, Anacortes Washington Fragment, LageEgal, Berlin
Antimonies/Gegensätze, Galerie Open & Berlin Art Link, Berlin
Half Empty, Vaudeville Park, Brooklyn, New York
Tabularasa/Denkmalpflege, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg
Berliner Allee 174, Centre Culturel Colombier, Rennes France
Cracks Punkt Tanz, Tanz im August, MicaMoca, Berlin
Displaced, IceCube Gallery, Rocky Mountain College of Art, Denver
PreDeFormMe, MeinBlau Kunsthaus, Transmediale, Berlin
Madeline Stillwell, Wilde Gallery, Berlin
Madeline Stillwell: Tendencies, Grizzly Grizzly, Philadelphia
Madeline Stillwell: Photoshoot II & III, Burton Theater, Detroit
Banquet, Show IV, MMX Open Art Venue, Berlin
Video Lounge, Special Exhibitions, Art Toronto
Interactions, Crane Arts, Philadelphia PA
Sub Terrain, Work: Ann Arbor, University of Michigan
Idle Time Busy Mind, Nurture Art, Brooklyn, New York
Art Scouts, Arlington Art Center, Washington DC
Madeline Stillwell: Siren Sessions, Monkey Town, Brooklyn, New York
Madeline Stillwell: Live Blind Tape Drawing, Wilde Gallery & Scope Basel, Switzerland
Collection Remix, Janet Oh Gallery, Seoul
Lynchmob, .HBC, Berlin
Outside, Tape Modern, Berlin
Save Berlin, Stattbad & ExBerliner Magazine, Berlin
Plastik, GfBFK & Konrad Wolf Universität, Am Flutgraben, Berlin
Madeline Stillwell, Scope Special Programs, Scope Miami
Off the Wall, Wilde Gallery, Berlin
Inventory, Wilde Gallery, Berlin
Centrifugal Force, Detroit Industrial Projects, Detroit
Here and Now, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills Detroit
Sculpture: What is? Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax Canada
Awards, Grants, Residencies & Fellowships
2014 Karin Abt Staubinger Stifftung Grant
2012 Wassaic Project, Residency & Scholarship
2009 Takt Kunstprojecktraum Residency, Berlin
2008 Daimler Artistic Merit Scholar, Mercedes Benz Financial Services
2005 Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Visiting Student Fellowship
2003 Penland School of Crafts, Artist Assistant Fellowship
2000 St. Olaf College Academic Merit Scholarship
American Women’s Business Association Grant
Viola Rossing Prize
Artist Lectures & Professional Experience
2014 Artist Lecture, American University in Berlin
Artist Lecture, Universtiy of Minnesota in Berlin
2008‐current Adjunct Professor, Performance, Evangelische Hochschule Berlin
2012 Programming, Cranbrook Academy of Art in Berlin
2011‐2012 Co-coordinator, USArtBerlin, US Embassy Berlin
2010 Visiting Artist Workshop, European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin
Artist Mentor, European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin
Visiting Artist Lecture, University of Delaware, Newark
Visiting Artist Lecture, College for Creative Studies, Detroit
Visiting Artist Lecture, St. Olaf College, Northfield MN
2009 Visiting Artist Lecture, Rhode Island School of Art, Providence RI
Artist Lecture, Ludwig‐Maximilians‐Universität, Munich
Cotner, Cara. “Madeline Stillwell: Discarded Beauty,” Berlin Art Link, Article: July 2011.
Merino, Anthony. “Politics of Perception: Post‐Foucauldian Ceramics.” Kindle Editions,2011.
Lewis, Isabel. “Antinomies: Gegensätze,” Berlin Art Link, Article: September 2011.
Leterrier, Michael. “Interview with Madeline Stillwell,” Centre Culturel Colombier, February 2011.
Garel, Laurence. “Berliner Allee 174,” Femmes á Rennes, Art & Culture: January 2011.
“Dross of a passing Dream,” Open Letters Monthly, Arts & Literature Review: January 2011.
Fallon, Roberta. “It’s Anti‐hero time,” Philly Weekly, Arts & Culture: September ‐October 2010.
Trice, Emilie. “Madeline Stillwell: Performances,” Wilde Gallery, Exhibition Catalogue: January 2010. Honigman, Ana Finel. “Interview with Madeline Stillwell,” ArtSlant. Artist in Focus: May 2010.
Deutsche Bank Collection, Amsterdam
RCK Kunststiffung Collection, Berlin
Stoffel/Young Collection, New York
Strasserauf Deutschland, Dusseldorf
Oh Collection, Seoul
Sammlung Luetzow, Berlin