Since the 1960s, Michelle Stuart has created a multifaceted body of work that defies easy categorization, shifting between large-scale Earthworks, collage, drawings, photography, and sculpture. Stuart has devoted her decades-long practice to recording and studying traces upon the earth, whether by nature or by human hand, as imprints of identity. Stuart maps the passage of time and space, retrieving histories as much as she makes us aware of their irretrievability. She often utilizes organic materials such as earth, beeswax, and plant matter, rubbing them against paper or transforming them into objects with talismanic aura. Even when working with photography, she continues to perceive it as an imprinting process, frequently researching and re-photographing old prints to recall forgotten moments in history.
Stuart has exhibited internationally over the past 40 years. Notable solo exhibitions include
Sayreville Strata Quartet, Dia:Beacon, New York (2017); Theatre of Memory: Photographic Works, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2016); Place and Time, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Drawn from Nature, which opened at the University of Nottingham, England and travelled to Parish Art Museum, Watermill, New York (2013) and Santa Barbara Museum of Art (2014). Her work is featured in public collections worldwide including MoMA, New York; Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland; The Art Institute of Chicago; Moderna Museet, Sweden; Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia; SFMoMA, San Francisco; and Tate Gallery, England.
Stuart was born in 1933 in Los Angeles, California, and currently lives and works in Amagansett, New York.