Inspired by conversations with Temple Grandin, a well-known animal scientist who is also autistic, the artist conceived of and designed the Squeeze Chair as a simulated embrace: a large overstuffed chair with fat tear-drop shaped arms that inflate, holding the sitter in a firm squeeze or hug. By mechanically applying an even pressure over the body, the squeeze chair creates a calming effect without the terror and over-stimulation of human touch. Although the chair has been shown in art contexts, much of the attention it has attracted has been from the autism community.
Wendy Jacob has had solo exhibitions at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City), Madison Art Center (Madison, WI), Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, and List Visual Arts Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has received Illinois Arts Council Artists’ Fellowships, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Artist Fellowship, and a University Research Grant from Illinois State University.