Copyright 2016 Jeff Stauder All Rights Reserved
Born in 1970, Western Massachusetts based artist Jeff Stauder was raised in Connecticut before receiving his BA in Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He received his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he won the 1996 Dana Pond Painting Award. Following graduate school Stauder moved to New York City where he created the Artists Theoretical Racing Circuit, a collaborative conceptual art project. He began his current work, ‘The Pilgrim Series’ upon returning to New England in 2009.
‘The Pilgrim Series’ is an original cosmology inhabited by recurrent characters and imagery. Stauder liberally mixes the use of representation, abstraction, and decorative pattern. The central theme of the series is the severed relationship between nature and Western man. The loss of an animistic connection with nature, and in the impossibility of an authentic reconnection, is played out in various ways. This fissure is represented in the interplay between pilgrim and bison as well as symbolic representations of the other characters. Climate change, signified by rising waters that confront the protagonists, is a looming emphasis. The protagonist of the series is Stauder himself, dressed wearing only a pilgrim’s hat. Bison, crows, foxes, corn, and forms of wood are images that are used repeatedly. The ‘Pilgrim Series’ is both somber and amusing, reflecting a metamodern sensibility. Work from the series has been exhibited widely in New England, including a solo exhibition at the University of Massachusetts.