Sandy Skoglund

About the Artist

Sandy Skoglund’s art works are conceived and evolve within the traditions of  installationAn art work specially designed to fit in or to make use of a specific type of space. It usually consists of more than one element and relates to the space in which it is displayed.  and  sculptureA three-dimensional work of art, or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. A sculptor is one who creates sculptures. (artlex.com)  and are finally captured in large photographic prints. She spends months constructing environments and sculpting her often brilliantly-coloured objects and animals. These  fabricatedIn general, to make; to create. Often more specifically, to construct or assemble something. (Artlex.com)  installations come to life with the placement of a few carefully selected everyday-looking people. Once the stage is set, Skoglund photographs her environments and captures a  tableauxScenes presented by costumed actors who remain silent and motionless on a stage, as if in a picture. (artlex.com)  of fantasy, mystery and the surreal. Writer Patrick Roegiers says about these images, “The strange and fascinating world of Sandy Skoglung is located on the border between the rational and the irrational.“ (Roegiers, 1992)

Skoglund’s early interest was in painting. She studied at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts (receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968) and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where she graduated in 1972 with a Master of Fine Arts degree. Like many artists, Skoglund uses her early knowledge and expands upon it to create unique works composed of a variety of techniques and methods. Writer Marge Goldwater observes that, “Her (Skoglund’s) training as a painter is apparent in the striking artificial  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  that has become her trademark.” (Goldwater, 1988)

Skoglund was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and currently lives in New York City. She has exhibited in many major art galleries including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri, the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas and the University of Massachusetts Gallery at Amherst. She currently (2008) teaches photography and art installation/multimedia at Rutgers University in New Jersey.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning