Artist statement

My work interrogates coordinated uses of the body. Through performance, video, and sculpture, I question the boundary between artist and athlete, challenging the internalized and gendered rules we use to give each meaning. My comfort with expression through exertion and prowess calls into association other binary distinctions such as man vs woman, as well as human vs animal. The necessary intensity of athletic coordination and training prompts an energetic and materially grounded practice, bringing to attention the tools and environments that contain and display performances of power, hierarchy, and endurance.



Jacqueline Surdell was born in Chicago, IL. Growing up in a family of athletes and artists, Surdell spent her early life between the court and studio. Surdell played ten years of competitive volleyball and was recruited to play at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA where she earned her BFA with cum laude honors. Since then, she has created work fusing sculptural installations with performance, painting, and video. Surdell is interested in states of duality, hybridity, and in-betweenness, attempting to both fulfill and disrupt expectations. In this way, her work embraces diverse forms of expression and connections throughout varied works. Surdell earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2017). Surdell lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Surdell’s work has been shown at South Bend Museum of Art, Chicago Artist Coalition, Western Exhibitions, Chicago; Union League Club, Chicago; Lithium Gallery, Chicago; Sullivan Galleries, Chicago; Cleve Carney Art Gallery, Glen Ellyn; Boardwalk Gallery, Los Angeles; Weingart Gallery, Los Angeles; and Galerie LeRoyer, Montreal. Surdell was awarded residencies at Ragdale, Lake Forest, IL, Acre Projects, Steuben, Wisconsin, and is currently a Hatch Projects Artist in Residence at Chicago Artists Coalition.