Wedgewood Dinner Plates, 2008
United by attitude rather than medium or method, Christian Holstad’s work probes received ideas about class, culture, sexuality and society. In his ongoing series of Eraserhead drawings the artist selectively erases sections of images cut from newspapers and magazines, leaving in their place blank, haunting suggestions of forms, poetically emphasizing or dramatizing human features both imagined and real.
Holstad thereby transforms their meanings in ways that hint at hidden or subtextual layers beneath the surface of received, media-sanctioned culture.
To these Holstad adds drawn elements - pastel drawings of pale blue Wedgwood china - that suggests a particular idea of class and status, as they offer a surreal commentary on politics, society and the deflation of power. Holstad's technique destabilizes our experience of media imagery, transforming everyday pictures into insightful and highly personal commentaries which are at times somber, at times celebratory.
Christian Holstad was due to undertake an artist residency in Potenza in July 2020.
Was born in Anaheim, California in 1972 and lives and works in New York City. In 2019, Holstad had been invited by curator Milovan Farronato to create a site-specific installation inspired by the theme of marine protection from plastic waste pollution. Presented by FTP Industrial at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, the work titled Consider yourself a guest (Cornucopia) is a reflection of our impact on the planet and our consumptive roles within the growing plastic mass.' The installation was presented on the water of the Grand Canal outside the Ca’ Foscari University from 12 May–12 June 2019 and at Artissima in Turin from 31 October – 3 November 2019.
Recent solo exhibitions include Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York (2017 and 2013); Massimo De Carlo, Milan (2016); Schmidt & 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 Harald Szeemann - Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us, Swiss Institute, New York (2019); A Cool Breeze, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2019); Transitions and Transformations, NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale (2019); 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.