Sandy Sklogund - Artist's portrait - Image via blogcolorstudiocom

Sandy Skoglund

United States 1946

Installation, Sculpture, Photography

Sandy Skoglund
Sandy Skoglund
United States
August 15, 2016
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

Portraying her own feelings through photographs and three-dimensional sets or tableaux, Sandy Skoglund explores people’s subconscious fears creating the installations that question the perception of reality. Her large-format photos captivate with their bright colors and, at the first glance, amusing content, but a deeper look reveals the hidden essence of underlying treat which plays into people’s fears. Demonstrating a great ability to oppose reality to imagination, the origin of her interest lies in the mixture of natural and artificial. Decades before Photoshop became widely used, Skoglund started creating fascinating photographs by building incredible and carefully prepared scenography characterized by bright, contrasting tones and monochromatic color scheme.

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Sandy Skoglund – Palm Trees in Suspense, 2004

Education and the Working Process

Skoglund was born in 1946 in Quincy, Massachusetts, and she remembered her childhood for frequent relocations until they settled in California near Disney World. She has always asserted this change of environment as a positive influence on her artistic development: “There is probably kind of a California sensibility in my work in term of color”. During her studies of Art History and Studio art at Smith College in North Hampton, Massachusetts, she had a wish to become a fashion designer or cartoonist. Spending one year at the Sorbonne and Ecole du Louvre in Paris through her college study abroad program where she discovered the power of theatrical images through avant-garde movies, Skoglund returned to the United States and went to graduate school at the University of Iowa, where she has studied filmmaking, multimedia art, and printmaking. The artist rounded her education with the degree of Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in painting.

Starting to create as a conceptual artist in New York in 1972, Skoglund became interested in photography, but only as a mean of documentation of her artistic efforts and experimentations with the themes of repetitions using the techniques of mark-making and photocopying. In 1979, she produced a series of repetitious still life images with food items arrangement, but her probably the best-known piece is Radioactive Cats (1990) where fluorescently green painted clay cats running madly in the gray kitchen while old man sits at the table and his wife looks into the refrigerator. Her creative process involves designing of the staged environments that range in color and materials, often followed by live models like in the Cocktail Party (1992) and Revenge of the Goldfish (1981). Sometimes spending months or even whole year planning the installation, Skoglund takes photographs and then destroys the tableau. The photo is the final result and it differs from the installation that is deprived of human presence. “My work is based on a Frankenstein model where the human beings have created the world that is out of control and turns on them”.

Photographs are the final result of her complex creative process

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Sandy Skoglund – Radioactive Cats, 1980

Sandy Skoglund’s Art

The background of her approach is also very complex and important part of the creation. Looking for the perfect subject, she always carries a notebook where she writes down all of her thoughts and observations. Her tableau technique allows her to transfer three-dimensional object into plain, two-dimensional images, making sculpted scenes to look like surrealistic pictures. “I try to suggest things. I want to create possibilities of interpretation,” – and she succeeded in that intention, offering the endless possibilities of interpretation. Using the artificial, monochrome colors, the artist emphasizes the unreality of shown but also takes care of the symbolism where, for example, the blue opposed to orange are associated with life and death. Among her famous artworks is Shimmering Madness (1998), where her characters have their heads turned backward from their bodies and everything is covered with the jelly-beans. This composition differs from her previous for its unusual setting which is far away from earlier mundane environments.

Sandy Skoglund strives to create various possibilities of interpretation

 gallery 1986
Sandy Skoglund – Revenge of the Goldfish, 1981

Artist and Professor: Exploring the Social Issues

Skoglund started her teaching career during the 70’s when she worked as an art professor at the University of Hartford and currently is on the position of photography and installation/multimedia teacher at Rutgers-Newark University in New Jersey. Her works have been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows worldwide and have been held in several museum collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Dayton Art Institute. During the more than forty years of her career, this American artist strives to explore social and political issues through her unique technique and sincere expression of her feelings.

Sandy Skoglund lives and works in New Jersey.

Featured image: Sandy Skoglund – Artist’s portrait – Image via
All other images copyright of the artist

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Learning to See Color University of Denver, Denver, COGroup
2015The Extraordinary Ordinary: Three Installations The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TXGroup
2015Staged Akron Art Museum, Akron, OHGroup
2015Da un'importante collezione veneziana di fotographia Galleria L'Elefante, TrevisoGroup
2014Exposure: An Exhibition Of Contemporary Photography A128 Creative Arts Center, Dayton, OHGroup
2014Le amazzoni della fotografia dalla collezione di Mario Trevisan Palazzo Fortuny, VeniceGroup
2013Sandy Skoglund University of Denver, Denver, COSolo
2013Decisive Moments The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, Honolulu, HIGroup
2013Color, American Photography Transformed Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TXGroup
2013An Artificial Wilderness, The Landscape in Contemporary Photography The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CTGroup
2013Light Sensitive Duke University, Durham, NCGroup
2012Winter Galleria PaciArte Contemporanea, BresciaSolo
2012A meno di non ricorrere a una fotografia M & D ARTE, GorgonzolaGroup
2012Sandy Skoglund + Cerise Doucede Inception Gallery, ParisGroup
2012Director’s Choice University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NCGroup
2012I have a dream Paci Contemporary, BresciaGroup
2012An Orchestrated Vision: The Theater of Contemporary Photography Saint Louis Art Museum,Saint Louis, MOGroup
2012Performing for the Camera ASU Art Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZGroup
2011ARTMATTERS 14, Sandy Skoglund :The Cocktail Party The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TXSolo
2011Leurre Fondation Francès, SenlisGroup
2011Four Photographers Mary Ryan Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011The Presence of Absence Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SCGroup
2010Sandy Skoglund, The Artificial Mirror Fotografiska, StockholmSolo
2010Sandy Skoglund Mjellby Konstmuseum, HalmstadSolo
2010As I Do Paul Robeson Campus Center 350 , Newark, NJGroup
2010tra pittura e fotografia sezione contemporanea dal 1960 al 2000 Museo Ken Damy, BresciaGroup
201020Years Already Galerie Guy Bärtschi, GenevaGroup
2010El Retorno De Lo Imaginario Realismos Entre Xix Y Xxi (Tributo A Juan Antonio Ramírez )Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MadridGroup
2009elles@centrepompidou, artistes femmes dans les collections du Centre Pompidou Centre Pompidou, Musée National d´Art Moderne, ParisGroup
2009Second Skin Spazio Paraggi, TrevisoGroup
2009Second Skin, Associazione TRA Treviso Ricerca Arte, TrevisoGroup
2009Group exhibition RED @ RULE Rule Gallery, Denver, COGroup
2009American Concepts and Global Visions Selections from the AT&T Collection: Masterworks of Photography The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TXGroup
2008True Fiction Betta Frigieri Arte Contemporanea, ModenaSolo
2008True Fiction Betta Frigieri Arte Contemporanea, Sassuolo, MOSolo
2008Feminae Galerie Guy Bärtschi, GenevaGroup
2008Love Palazzo Ducale, GenoaGroup
2008American Art Since 1945: In a New Light The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TXGroup
20086e Biennale de la photographie Centre culturel de Liège, LiègeGroup
2007Sandy Skoglund Gallery Kong, SeoulSolo
2007NY C Photo, Phillips de Pury & Company New York, New York City, NYGroup
2007Group Show, Reality bites Galerie Caprice Horn, BerlinGroup
2007Distinct Impression, Photographs from the Permanent Collection Palm Springs Art Museum,Palm Springs, CAGroup
2006The Food Show, The Hungry Eye Chelsea Art Museum, New York City, NYGroup
2006My Collection Museo Ken Damy, BresciaGroup
2006Seeing the Light Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2006I love the Burbs Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NYGroup
2005Sandy Skoglund Galerie Guy Bärtschi, GenevaSolo
2005The Cocktail Party Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
2005The Feast, Food in Art Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ONGroup
2005The Animal Within Paintings & Photographs Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
2005Seven: everything goes to hell Palazzo Pretorio, Certaldo, FlorenceGroup
2005The Art of Point of Contact Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NYGroup
2005LURE Drawn to the Promise of Pleasure Rule Gallery, Denver, COGroup
2005Collection 2 Collection Salomon, Fondation pour L'art Contemporain, Claudine et Jean Marc Salomon, AlexGroup
2004Legally Represented Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FLGroup
2003True Fictions, Inszenierte Fotokunst der 1990er Jahre Palais Stutterheim, ErlangenGroup
2002Sandy Skoglund: Raining Popcorn Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NYSolo
2002Humor Gallery Sink, Denver, COGroup
2002Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, OHGroup
2002True Fictions. Inszenierte Fotokunst der neunziger Jahre Kunsthaus Dresden, DresdenGroup
2002Shock and Show, Realtà e alternative LipanjePuntin Artecontemporanea, TriesteGroup
2002Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TNGroup
2002A Thousand Hounds, A Walk with the Dogs through the History of Photography Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FLGroup
2002True Fictions Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, AachenGroup
2001Sandy Skoglund Grinnell College, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Grinnell, IASolo
2001Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ONGroup
2001Le Muse Inquietanti, Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Polignano a Mare, PBAGroup
2001Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CAGroup
2001Almost Warm & Fuzzy CaixaForum Barcelona, BarcelonaGroup
2001Exposition Collective Galerie Guy Bärtschi, GenevaGroup
2001Almost Warm & Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art MoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
200012Breathing Glass Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
2000Sandy Skoglund Museo d`Arte di Nuoro, NuoroSolo
2000Sandy Skoglund: Breathing Glass Museum of Arts & Design, New York City, NYSolo
2000Sandy Skoglund, Shimmering Madness and Other Phenomena Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FLSolo
2000Sandy Skoglund Galerie Guy Bärtschi, GenevaSolo
2000Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, SMoCA, Scottsdale, AZGroup
2000Ambiguity: Layers of Information Marywood University Art Gallery, Scranton, PAGroup
2000Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WAGroup
2000Moodstruck, Photographs from the Permanent Collection University of Massachusetts,Amherst, MAGroup
199912Shimmering Madness Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
1999Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IAGroup
1999Making It Real Christian A. Johnson Hall, Clinton, NYGroup
1998Sandy Skoglund: Selected Works Rollins College, Winter Park, FLSolo
1998Nizhoni, A Beautiful Rug: The Bertha Brossman Blair Collection of Southwestern Textiles The Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia Art Museums, Charlottesville, VAGroup
1998Cleveland Collects Contemporary Art The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OHGroup
1998Making it Real Truthfulness in Photographic ImagesThe Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia Art Museums, Charlottesville, VAGroup
1998Ficciones íntimas Fundación Joan Miró, BarcelonaGroup
1998Une belle prise = A fine catch Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QCGroup
1996Chroniques Ludiques Centre d’art contemporain la Synagogue de Delme, DelmeGroup
1995Sandy Skoglund Spectrum Sotos, ZaragozaSolo
1994Around the House: Invitational Exhibition of Paintings, Drawing, Sculpture and Photography Frumkin, Adams Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
1993The Green House The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WISolo
1992Sandy Skoglund: The Green House Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, COSolo
1992Skoglund Foto Inszenierungen Fotografie Forum international, Frankfurt MainSolo
1991The Green House Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
1991Basel Art Fair Switzerland Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GAGroup
1990Fictions Les Moulins Albigeois, AlbiGroup
1990The Indomitable Spirit: Photographers And Artists Respond In The Time Of Aids International Center of Photography, New York City, NYGroup
1988Cross references : sculpture into photography Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA),Chicago, ILGroup
1987Sandy Skoglund Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
1987Cross references : sculpture into photography Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
1987Photography and Art: Interactions since 1946 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA,Los Angeles, CAGroup
1987La magie de l'image The Banff Centre, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, ABGroup
1986La magie de l'image Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QCGroup
1984Disarming Images, Art for Nuclear Disarmament Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center,Cincinnati, OHGroup
1984Photographic Narration BRIC Rotunda Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
1983Sandy Skoglund Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1983Phototypes Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYGroup
1983Habitats MoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1983New Work New York, Newcastle Salutes New York University Gallery and Baring Wing, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon TyneGroup
1982Sandy Skoglund, Matrix 71 The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CTSolo
1982The Atomic Salon Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
1982Points of View Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, OKGroup
1981Focus: Sandy Skoglund The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TXSolo
1981The New Color: A Decade of Color Photography International Center of Photography,New York City, NYGroup
1981New American Colour Photography Institute of Contemporary Arts, LondonGroup
1981National Studio Artists 1980 - 1981 MoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1981Whitney Biennial 1981 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYGroup