Chris Sollars' work revolves around the reclamation and subversion of public space through interventions and performance. The results are documented using photographs, sculpture, and video that are integrated into mixed-media installations. In 1996 Sollars’ studio practice moved into the street to have direct and immediate interaction with a public audience. His interdisciplinary work navigates the unsettled space between cultural norms, conditioned by his upbringing as a straight man raised by lesbians in the 1980s. Sollars’ process is physical and conceptual as he juxtaposes dissimilar elements to create unexpected forms that are often comedic.
Sollars is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture at Mills College, Oakland, CA and in 2013 was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Sollars has exhibited and performed solo and collaborative works in venues nationally and internationally including SFMOMA; Southern Exposure; Steven Wolf Fine Arts; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; di Rosa; The New Children's Museum, San Diego; Berkeley Art Museum; Soap Factory, Minnesota; Franklin Street Works, Connecticut; Kroswork, Oakland; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; Southern Machine Exposure Project; Tokyo; and the Aurlander International Airport, Stockholm, Sweden.
Sollars’ work is in the collections of the Berkeley Art Museum, Mills College Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum, and Miami Art Museum. Additional honors include the 2007 Eureka Fellowship Award, 2007 San Francisco Bay Area Artadia Grant, 2009 Headlands Center for the Arts residency, 2012 Center for Cultural Innovation Investing in Artists Grant, 2013 San Francisco Arts Commission: Individual Artist Commission Grant, and 2015 Recology Artist in Residency. His work has been featured in articles and reviews in the New York Times, BOOOOOOOM, Huffington Post, Juxtapoz, Contemporary Magazine, Daily Serving, CameraWork, ArtNet, Flash Art and San Francisco Arts Quarterly.
In 2008, Sollars completed C RED BLUE J, an experimental documentary feature that used his family to illustrate the complications of division during the 2004 Presidential election. C RED BLUE J screened at SFMOMA on Election Day and was included in CREATIVE TIME’s Democracy in America show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. A catalog of his Left Behind 2009–2012 photo series of public sculptures by Publication Studio, including an interview by art historian Jennifer Gonzalez was 2013. Most recently Sollars is working on DAAAM for the University of Art Gallery at California State University Chico and Hoof & Foot: a field study, a public commission for the grand opening of the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at University of California Davis opening in November 2016.
Born in Indianapolis in 1976, Sollars grew up in Maine before earning a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and M.F.A. from Bard College. Based in San Francisco since 1999, he is also director and curator of 667Shotwell, an experimental space in his home for artists to do time-based works.