Virgina A. Groot Foundation

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Joan Livingstone
1998 1st Place recipient

LIves and works in Chicago, IL


Joan Livingstone embraces the physical and material in sculptural objects, installations, prints and collages. Her abstracted forms reference the human organism and bodily experience, questioning contemporary issues of intimacy, sexuality, and desire. Both hard and soft, whole and fragmented, Livingstone’s provocative works contain, leak, posture, and droop, asking us to re-consider our knowledge of self and body in relation to time, nature and culture. Pliable surfaces of cloth and skin, examined through a cultural history of textile, at once expose and obscure, respond to touch, movement and gravity, and become metaphors for the complexities of human identity. Utilizing membranes of wool, felt, rubber, leather and cloth––intensively pieced, stitched, and frequently in conjunction with resins and thermoplastic substances––Livingstone develops relationships of forms that evoke somatic memory and psychological tension, underscoring the persistence of the erotic. Aligned with the work of Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith and Doris Salcedo, Livingstone’s practice extends a dialog confronting our notions of human experience.

Livingstone’s work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City) the Kanazawa Museum of Art (Japan), the Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art (Korea), the Boise Art Museum (Idaho), the Arkansas Art Center , the Dennos Museum Center (Michigan), and the Chicago Cultural Center. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Boise Museum of Art (Idaho), the Contemporary Museum (Hawaii), Detroit Institute of Arts (Michigan), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago) and the Racine Art Museum (Wisconsin).

She is currently Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Born in Portland, Oregon she maintains a studio practice in an industrial neighborhood in Chicago.



2007-present Dean of Undergraduate Studies, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL 2005-2007
Undergraduate Division Chair, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL 1983-2005
Professor, and Chair (2000-2005, and 1994-1997), Department of Fiber and Material Studies, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Artist in Residence and Chair, Fiber Department, Cranbrook Academy of Art, MI
Assistant Professor and Chair, Fiber Department, The Kansas City Art Institute, MO


M.F.A., Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
B.A., Portland State University, OR
Beloit College, WI


Faculty Enrichment Grant, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2001, 1999, 1997, 1994, 1989, 1988, 1984
Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship, 2000, 1989, 1986
Virginia A. Groot Foundation, Illinois, Individual Artist Fellowship, 1998
National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Artist Fellowship, 1992, 1986, 1979
The George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Artist Fellowship, Brown University, RI, 1990
The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Artist Fellowship (catalog), 1989

Selected Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions

“Migrations,” The Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR (essay by Shannon Stratton)

“Joan Livingstone,” The Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR
“Jane Lackey/Joan Livingstone,” Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago, IL (brochure, essay by Tim Porges)

“variable quantities,” Sybaris Gallery, Royal Oak, MI

“skinned, collapsed, unfolded, re-pieced,” a project for “Installation: Tokyo–Chicago–New York,” Tokyo Gei
Dai Museum, Japan
“Turning Home,” Track House, Oak Park, IL
“Soft Edge,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
“Black & White,” Linda Ross Contemporary, Huntington Woods, MI
“ECOPOLIS,” New Context, Chicago, IL

“Kanazawa World Craft Forum,” Kanazawa Museum of Art, Japan (catalog)
“New Acquisitions,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
“Inaugural Exhibition,” Racine Art Museum, WI (catalog)

“soma,” installation for “In the Material World,” curated by John Brunetti, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL

“The Breath of Nature: Invitational, Cheongju International Bienniale,” Cheongju, Korea (catalog)
“American Craft Council Fellows,” SOFA, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

Selected Publications and Reviews

Joan Livingstone, John Ploof, eds., “The Object of Labor: Critical Perspectives on Art, Cloth, and Cultural Production” (Chicago: SAIC Press).
Mary Gustaitis-Beyer, “Turning Home at Trackhouse,” June.
Shannon Stratton, “Migrations,” essay for exhibition at Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR.

Victor Cassidy, “Focus: Joan Livingstone,” Sculpture Magazine, April (essay).
Marsha Miro, “Review,” Art in America, January (review).
Ann Weins, “Material,” CS Magazine, May (essay,).
Sunita Patterson. “Is Fiber’s Foundation Firm?” Fiberarts Magazine, Vol. 30, No. 2, Sept/Oct.

Gerry Craig, James Elkins, James Yood, “Portfolio Collection Vol 10: Joan Livingstone” (Winchester, England: Telos Art Publishing).
Alan Artner, “Utilitarian forms a common bond in Art Center’s ‘Material World’,” Chicago Tribune, January 24 (review).

Otto G. Ocvrik … [et al], “Art Fundamentals: Theory & Practice,” Ninth Edition (NY: McGraw-Hill) p. 224
“American Craft Council Awards 2001,” American Craft Magazine, Oct/Nov.
Ruth Lopez, “Livingstone’s Body of Work,” Chicago Tribune, December 30 (feature in Section 7: Arts and Entertainment).

Jenny Sorkin, “Jane Lackey/Joan Livingstone,” New Art Examiner (review).
Polly Ullrich, “Jane Lackey/Joan Livingstone,” American Craft Magazine, Spring (review).

Selected Public Collections

Boise Museum of Art, Idaho
Burke Hoffman Law Offices, Kansas City, Missouri
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Portland, Oregon
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii
Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, Michigan
Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, Detroit, Michigan
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
Northern Illinois University Art Museum, DeKalb, Illinois
Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin
Peat Marwick Executive Education Center, Chicago, Illinois
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon
Robert L. Pfannebecker Collection, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
and numerous private collections

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