Paul Kotula Projects is thrilled to congratulate Jim Shrosbree, one of 25 visual artists from the United States and Canada who was awarded a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship. The Board of Trustees at John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation “granted 168 Fellowships to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-fifth competition.” As Edward Hirsch, president of the Guggenheim Foundation stated, “These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best.”
Shrosbree’s Guggenheim Fellowship arrives shortly after receiving a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2017-2018) which allowed him to build a studio on his property in Fairfield, IA. Shrosbree states, “It’s hard to quantify the enormous rush of gratitude and appreciation I feel. The Guggenheim Fellowship will afford freedom to create, to explore materials and scale, as well as allow vital travel related to my studio practice.”
Jim Shrosbree is noted for his intimate, enigmatic, ceramic and mixed-media sculpture that suggests the figure as both a physical entity and hallowed site of being. His highly distilled imagery is formed of out of simple, yet idiosyncratic materials and placed within the context of architecture. His wall forms often have drawn lines or shapes of color placed behind and/or around them; and many have physical linear connections, like wire, uniting the form and the wall through suspension, tension, and/or balance. Together they form a set of relationships that further each work’s concept, while affirming the architectural space in which they, like those that come to view them, temporarily occupy. His free-standing pieces incorporate custom pedestals, trivet-like platforms and/or cloth coverings. The latter elude to domestic or embodied space, while inviting responses to texture memory. These “stacks”, as the artist sometimes refers to them, may be read as altars. Shrosbree acknowledges his Catholic upbringing and Eastern Indian influence, but the sculptures also imply a studio work space where a soiled rag, a rubber band, or a piece of felt with some stray hair, possibly from a dog, become sacred materials. For this artist, the studio is a space where the most common of things can be transformed into art, especially when, as his contemporary John Duff has stated, “the artist is conscious of the act of being conscious”.
Shrosbree recently completed his third artist residency at Yaddo. His sculpture, paintings, and works on paper have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are included in such collections as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Des Moines Art Center, Mint Museum and University of Iowa Museum of Art. In addition to his most recent award and residency fellowship are those from the National Endowment for the Arts, Iowa Arts Council, Idaho Arts and Humanities Commission, MacDowell Colony and Watershed Center for Ceramic Art. Shrosbree earned his MFA in Ceramics at University of Montana. He is Professor of Art at Maharishi University, Fairfield, Iowa.
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