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A native of Northeast Ohio, working in Los Angeles, Jennifer Vanderpool is new genre artist who works across mediums to reveal relationships between physical landscapes and the unseen forces that shape them, knitting together narratives about forgotten institutions, people, and communities. Her earlier work encompassed distinctions between natural and artificial. In the essay for Wanton, 2011, at Galería Sextante, Bogotá, art historian Dr. Kevin Concannon wrote: “With Jennifer Vanderpool's sculptural installations it can certainly seem that ‘nothing succeeds like excess.’ While her ultra-baroque sensibility offers viewers a surfeit of visual and emotional pleasures, nothing is squandered.” In her current work, Vanderpool recontextualizes abstracted elements of historic material culture to create allegorical images. Art critic Shana Nys Dambrot wrote in the March 1, 2014, Huffington Post: “In Jennifer Vanderpool's world, history has a way of repeating itself. That is to say, the past has a way of making itself known in her life and in her art. That is not only her own past, such as family heritage and personal experience, but also art history, and also sentiment-rich and bygone times in American and global culture. The artifacts of these realms constitute the raw materials of her objects, installations and images.”
Vanderpool has exhibited at the National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow; Stenersenmuseet, Oslo; RACA, Copenhagen; Kalmar Konstmuseum, Virserums Konsthall, Designarkivet, and Abandoned, Sweden; Nina Menocal Gallery and Zona Maco México Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City; Galería Sextante, Centro Colombo Americano, and Mercadito & Mentidero, Bogotá; No Lugar – Arte Contemporáneo and La Huerta y La Maquina, Quito, Ecuador; Kroshytskyi Art Museum in collaboration with ArtPlatz, Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine; Duna Galéria, Budapest, Hungary. In the U.S. she has exhibited at Edward Cella + Architecture, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Wende Museum and Cold War Archive, Riverside Art Museum, Butler Institute of American Art, and other venues in Brooklyn, Houston, Atlanta, Kansas City, Tulsa, Los Angeles and Southern California. She has been awarded exhibition funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and a National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant for her community arts work as well as artist grants from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Kunstrådet: Danish Arts Council, Kulturrådet: Swedish Arts Council, and Malmö Stad.
Her work has been reviewed and discussed in many leading publications including: The New York Times, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Artillery Magazine, ArtScene, Angeleno, ArtUS, Sculpture, Art Ltd., Art Papers, Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, Kansas City Star, and Tulsa World. Internationally her work has been covered in the Mexican publications El Universal and Time Out México, Colombian publications El Tiempo and Fotografia Colombiana, Ukrainian newspapers Slava Sevastopolya, and Sevastopolskaya Gazeta, Danish newspaper Politiken, and numerous Swedish newspapers including Dagens Nyheter and Sydsvenskan. She has been interviewed on CNN, Southern California Public Radio, Public Radio Tulsa, Sveriges Radio, Lorry København, and Ukrainian National Television among others.
She has been resident artist at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá; HOTHOUSE 2015, a UCLA/Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance residency; Pitzer College, Claremont; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena. She has been a visiting artist speaking at OVERGADEN: Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; University of Lincoln, England, UK; Universiteit van Amsterdam and Artez Institute for the Arts, Netherlands; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano and Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá; Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; California College of the Arts, Oakland; Indiana University at Bloomington; Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg; other U.S. universities.
Vanderpool’s curatorial projects engage socially constructed questions about the environment, belief systems, gender, and socioeconomics. She has curated exhibitions at the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, Eyedrum in Atlanta, and the sadly defunct artist collaborative Bluemilk formerly located in Atlanta. Her 2016 exhibition Imaginary Selves at the University of La Verne questioned the socio-cultural emerging of self. Vanderpool and Việt Lê co-curated Love in the Time of War, 2016 which queried relationships between war and intimacy, politics and the personal, and the body and the body politic. It was exhibited at UC Santa Barbara and travelled to SF Camerawork in San Francisco.
The collaborative curatorial team of Ciara Ennis and Vanderpool explored the interconnections between radical art practices and social activism in their 2018 exhibition MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal at Pitzer College. This exhibition was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts: Arts Works grant.
Vanderpool holds an Independent, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Trauma Studies in the fields of Art Theory Praxis, Comparative Literature, and Film & Media Studies from UC Santa Barbara. She also earned her MFA from UCSB where she was a UC Regents Fellow. She was an Academic Fellow at Emory University where she earned an MA in Art History. Vanderpool holds an MA in Community Arts Activism from The Ohio State University and a BA in History from Wittenberg University.