Malia Jensen
American, born 1966
Selected exhibitions
Elizabeth Leach Gallery at Seattle Art Fair 2017,
Elizabeth Leach Gallery
Cristin Tierney
Malia Jensen: Stuff and Things,
Cristin Tierney

Working deftly across mediums and materials, Malia Jensen uses animals as the primary protagonists for her sculptures, videos, photographs, and works on paper. With great attention to the formal qualities of each of the materials she uses—like bronze, ink, soap, and salt licks—Jensen creates beautiful works invested with human emotion, as she describes: “There’s a deep sadness in a lot of the work. It’s like finding a human condition in an animal parallel.” This condition is one of (unsatisfied) sexual desire, awkwardness, fragility, and peril. In Bathing Skunk (2000), for example, Jensen cast a skunk taking a bath out of soap. By bathing itself, the skunk negates its identity by masking its signature odor—a defeatist and, for Jensen, all-too-human act, suggestive of the pathos of self-effacement and the stinging experience of shame.