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.
Named the Millersville University Department of Art & Design Conrad Nelson fellow for 2021-2022, a solo exhibition titled Penzance (Cornwall) to Paddington (London) is on view through March 4, 2022 and the artist gave a lecture on February 8. Stuart is currently participating in two group exhibitions Sound as Sculpture and Tender Objects: Emotion and Sensation after Minimalism at The Warehouse, Dallas, Texas. Upcoming group exhibitions include What Is Left Unspoken, Love, at High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (March 2022); Put it this way: (Re)visions of the Hirshhorn Collection, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (July 2022); and Cosmonogies at Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain de Nice (November 2022). A documentary on the artist, Michelle Stuart: Voyager, produced by Karen Shapiro and directed by Karen Bellone is currently in production.
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, California; Tate Gallery, London; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and The Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, among others.
Stuart was born in 1933 in Los Angeles, California, and currently lives and works in New York, New York.
Alexis Lowry is curator at Dia Art Foundation, New York, where she is responsible for the permanent collection, as well as acquisitions, commissions, exhibitions, and public programs across Dia’s sites and locations. At Dia Chelsea, she has overseen new projects by Lucy Raven, Rita McBride, and Kishio Suga. At Dia Beacon, she organized the first North American retrospective of Charlotte Posenenske’s work, as well as installations by Mel Bochner, Mary Corse, Charles Gaines, Barry Le Va, Lee Ufan, Robert Morris, Michelle Stuart, and Anne Truitt. Prior to joining Dia, Lowry was curator of the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a freelance project manager for Creative Time, New York. In 2021, Lowry was the first invited curator-in-residence at the Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau, Germany. She has edited and contributed to numerous artist monographs, exhibition catalogues, and journals, and serves on the board of directors for the Triple Aught Foundation and the advisory council of The Great Northern. She obtained her PhD from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in 2019.