Maria Gaspar is an interdisciplinary artist negotiating the politics of location through installation, sculpture, sound, and performance. Gaspar’s work addresses issues of spatial justice in order to amplify, mobilize, or divert structures of power through individual and collective gestures. Her work spans formats and durations, including sound performances at a military site in New Haven (“Sounds for Liberation”); long-term public art interventions at the largest jail in the country (96 Acres Project, Chicago); appropriations of museum archives (“Brown Brilliance Darkness Matter”); and audio-video works, documenting a jail located in her childhood neighborhood (“On the Border of What is Formless and Monstrous”).
Gaspar has exhibited at venues including the MCA, Chicago, IL; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, NY; Artspace, New Haven, CT; African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA; amongst many others. Gaspar is the recipient of an Imagining Justice Art Grant, a Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship, an Art Matters Grant, a Creative Capital Award, a Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant, a Sor Juana Women of Achievement Award in Art and Activism from the National Museum of Mexican Art, and a Chamberlain Award for Social Practice at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Gaspar was named Chicagoan of the Year in the Arts in 2014 by art critic and historian, Lori Waxman. She is an Assistant Professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, holds an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.