A public garden & cultural center

Michelle Stuart

Field Notes
Glyndor Gallery | September 15–November 29, 2015


Pictured above: Michelle Stuart, Abdelouahed, 1982. Graphite, muslin-mounted rag paper, green watercolor, 24 x 36". Courtesy of the artist and Leslie Tonkonow.

Throughout Michelle Stuart’s expansive career, travel and observation have fueled her intense interest in history, archaeology, astronomy, botany and other ways to relate to the world. For Field Notes, she will exhibit seven drawings from a series created in 1982, following a trip to Morocco. On that trip she visited madrasas, secluded, sacred spaces for prayer and meditation, made of stone, often with a pool as a focal point.  Although photography was not permitted in these spaces, she took many pictures during her travels. On returning to her studio, Stuart embarked on a series of drawings from memory. Using graphite, and in some cases silver leaf or watercolor, she encompasses the experience of the geometric, sparse spaces. This body of work has never been shown in New York.

For Field Notes, Stuart has also created a new work titled Yasmine: Maroc Notebook, which consists of 11 framed photographs taken from her travels and her notebooks. This new piece is more in keeping with the current photo-based work that she has been exhibiting. In total, installation calls to mind distant spaces that act as a counterpart to Wave Hill’s garden landscape.

Michelle Stuart studied in Mexico, France and in New York at The New School for Social Research. Since the 1960s, she has engaged the landscape through large-scale earth works and earth drawings, multi-media installation, encaustic paintings, sculptural objects, drawings and prints. Photography has been a constant and is currently her primary medium. Always a pioneer in the use of natural materials and processes, she has long been interested in extinction and genetics. A selection of work from her series on genetic variation was exhibited at Wave Hill in 2000. Her work can be seen in the Whitney Museum of Art’s opening exhibition, America is Hard to See, and is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). Work from Stuart’s extinction series was shown at Wave Hill in Abundant Invention, in 2000. Stuart lives and works in New York City and Amagansett, NY.

Michelle Stuart, Agdal I, 1982, Graphite, muslin-mounted rag paper, 24 x 36". Photo: Stefan Hagen

Michelle Stuart, Madersa Ben Youssef, 1982, Graphite, muslin-mounted rag paper, silver leaf, 24 x 36". Photo: Stefan Hagen

Michelle Stuart, Makan Series: Al-Maghrib Al-Aqsa I, 1982, Graphite, muslin-mounted rag paper. 24 x 36". Photo: Stefan Hagen

Michelle Stuart, Yasmine: Maroc Notebook, 2015, Eleven archival inkjet photographs, 48” x 58 ½”. Courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects

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The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.