Monica Bock is a sculptor and installation artist, and professor of art at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where she re-introduced metal casting, then established the ceramic art program she now heads. A twelve-year affiliate of Soho20 Gallery in New York City, she also exhibits widely in venues that have included Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory, Mobius in Boston, and Art in General in New York City. She has received numerous grants and awards to support studio projects, including an Arts Midwest/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship. As visiting artist, she regularly speaks about her work for gallery talks, residencies, workshops, and conference panels, and participates in critiques at a variety of institutions, including the New York Studio School. She received her BA ‘82 in Art and Art History from Oberlin College, and spent three years in Japan on post-baccalaureate fellowship from the Oberlin Shansi Association. She received her BFA ‘89 in Ceramics and MFA ‘91 in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she became an Adjunct Assistant Professor, before accepting her position in Connecticut in 1996.
As a mixed media sculptor and installation artist, I make objects that perform poetic narratives in specific spaces. My sculptural installations are meaningful things significantly arranged, communicating metaphorically, often cumulatively, in relationship to one another across walls and floors. I build this work from castings of organic bodies and found objects, exposing new content through material transformation of familiar forms. I use ephemeral substances such as salt and soap, and apparently durable materials such as porcelain and iron. I’ve cast kitchen chairs, lunch bags, children’s teeth, and lately, dead birds. Engaging these figures in particular places, I notice the shifting fragility of human community.