University of Nebraska Medical Center

Jennifer Steinkamp

Jennifer Steinkamp was born in 1958 in Denver, and now lives and works in Los Angeles. She uses 3-D computer animation and new media to create video installations that activate architectural space and alter phenomenological perception. She designs and digitally simulates movement of organic and abstract forms such as trees, flowers, and floating fabrics. Her works are displayed as site-specific projections that amplify their architectural setting by blurring the boundary between real and illusionistic space. These animated environments, while visually alluring, often carry subtle ominous references such as Daisy Bell, which features an array of beautiful yet poisonous flowers. Time plays a significant role in Steinkamp’s work, often depicting cyclical occurrences such as changing seasons and life cycles. These cycles do not typically have a beginning, middle, or end, but rather work with non-narrative concepts of change. In this sense, her work is more aligned with artists who prioritized sensorial experience, like James Turrell, Mary Corse, and other members of the Light and Space movement of the 1960s, than with film or other such time/media-based art.

Steinkamp received her BFA and MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California in 1989 and 1991, respectively, and also received an honorary PhD in 2011. Solo exhibitions of her work have been organized at The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA (2018); Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, CO (2017); Portland Art Museum, OR (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2016 and 2011); McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX (2016); Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas (2012 and 2014); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO (2013); the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE (2013); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (2009); Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2008); and San Jose Museum of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA, traveled to the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, MO and Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY (2006). Select group exhibitions and biennials featuring her work include Open Spaces Biennial, Kansas City (2018); Virtual Views: Digital Art from the Thoma Foundation, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN (2017); Nature Morte: contemporary artists reinvigorate the still-life tradition, Bohusläns Museum, Uddevalla, Sweden (2016); Momentum: An Experiment in the Unexpected, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA (2014); Turning Inside Out: Video Art by Nam June Paik, Joan Jonas, and Jennifer Steinkamp, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE (2012); Blink! Light, Sound and the Moving Image, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO (2011); The Artist’s Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); and California Video, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2008). Steinkamp has participated in multiple biennials, including the 11th Cairo International Biennial (2008) and the 8th Istanbul Biennial (2003). Her work can be found in numerous public and private collections internationally, including the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; The National Gallery, Washington, DC; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Istanbul Museum, Turkey; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA.

More on the artist’s website.


Botanic 2

In Botanic 2 by Jennifer Steinkamp, animated flowering plants are blown by an unseen force, breaking apart inside the circular framework of the video. The animations loop forward and back, transitioning between breaking apart and coming back together.