Biography

Since the 1970s, Michelle Stuart (b.1933, Los Angeles, California, US) has received international acclaim for pioneering works that synthesise Land Art, drawing and sculpture. Stuart’s original approach to material and process has seen her create large-scale site-specific works in the landscape, sculptural installations incorporating objects, drawings, and audio-visual elements, as well as photographs, drawings and sculptures that bring the material of landscape – earth and rock – into the gallery.

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While much of Stuart’s career has been defined by an inventive use of materials, photography has been her primary medium since 2009. Throughout this period, Stuart has made use of the vast archive of analogue and digital photographs that she has produced and collected over the past half a century, activating the aesthetic potential of these images through process of alteration and recontextualisation. These dreamlike recollections of her past not only continue her life-long artistic engagement with specific locations but affirm the significance of place as a unique source of memory.

Stuart has had solo exhibitions at Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, California, US (2019); Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, US (2019); Alison Jacques Gallery, London, UK (2018); Dia:Beacon, New York, US (2017); Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, California, US (2017); Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects at ADAA, New York, US (2017); The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, US (2016); Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, California, US (2015); Parafin, London, UK (2015); Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York, US (2014); Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects at Art Basel, Miami, Florida, US (2014); Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, US (2014); and the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York (2013).

She has had work included in group shows at Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, US (2021); Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, US (2021); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California, US (2019); Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, US (2019); The Met, New York, US (2019); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK (2018); MCA Chicago, Illinois, US (2018); Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK (2018); Tate St Ives, Cornwall, UK (2018); International Print Center, New York, US (2018); Centro de Arte y Naturaleza, Fundación Beulas, Huesca, Spain (2018); MAMAC, Nice, France (2018); Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, US (2018); 57th Venice Biennale, Italy (2017); Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, US (2017); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, US (2017); MoMA PS1, New York, US (2016);

Stuart’s work is held in major international museum collections, including SFMOMA, San Francisco, California, US; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, US; Santa Fe Museum, New Mexico, US; Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany; Tate, London, UK; The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US; Weatherspoon Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina, US; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US.

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Works

Wind/Rain/Time, 1974

Archival inkjet prints from analog photographs
29.2 x 121.9 cm (11 1/2 x 48 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

#28 Moray Hill, 1974

Graphite on muslin-mounted rag paper
365.8 x 157.5 cm (144 x 62 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Niagara Gorge Path Relocated, 1975

Rocks, earth (red Iron Oxide) on muslin-backed rag paper (Artpark, Lewiston, NY)
140 x 1.5m (460 feet x 5 feet 2 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Petroglyph, Three Rivers, New Mexico, 1978 (framed and printed in 2010)

Earth, graphite, muslin-mounted paper, photographs by the artist in 1978
83.2 x 98.4 cm (32 3/4 x 38 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

San Juan Ermita de Chiquimula, 1978

Cloth, string, muslin-mounted rag paper (Earth and rock marks from site in San Juan Ermita de Chiquimula, Guatemala)
22.9 x 17.8 x 7.6 cm (9 1/8 x 7 1/8 x 3 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Wind Book: Tikal, 1978

Earth and feather from site in Tikal Guatemala, muslin-mounted rag paper
3.8 x 33 x 25.4 cm (1 1/2 x 13 x 10 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Serpent Mound, Ohio, 1978-79

Earth on muslin-mounted rag paper
Overall (4 units): 203.2 x 635 cm (80 x 250 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Stone Alignments/Solstice Cairns, 1979

3200 Boulders, Rowena Plateau, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
304.8 x 243 cm (1000 x 800 feet)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Every Wave Book (for Melville), 1979

Earth, sand, sea pebbles, linen, muslin-mounted rag paper
Dimensions variable: 35.6 x 20.3 x 8.9 cm (14 x 8 x 3 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Ashes in Arcadia, 1987-88

Wall paintings: ashes, rocks, earth, plants, wax, glass, metal and rubbish on muslin-mounted rag paper. Floor: sandcast hydrocal, slag structolite sculptures, wax covered books, branches , pink and white reflector lights, Black Beauty Slag and ashes Audiotape: Songs of the Humpback Whale
320 x 731.5 x 808 cm (10.5 x 24 x 26.5 ft)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Sacred Solstice Alignment, 1981

Archival inkjet prints of black and white analog photographs
92.1 x 177.2 cm (36 1/4 x 69 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Starchart Constellations, 1992

Fiberglass, Miniature Lighting Systems (in ancient barn at Wanås Sculpture Park, Knislinge, Sweden)
30 Columns: each, circumference: 256.5 x 30.5 cm (101 x 12 in); overall: 25.7 x 121.9 x 359.7 m (8’5” x 40 x 118 feet)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Tapa, 1998

Seeds, beeswax, pigments and wood
30.5 x 30.5 cm (12 x 12 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Morning Seed Garden, 1997

Seeds, pigments, beeswax (morning glory seeds)
Each: 31 x 31 cm (12 1/4 x 12 1/4 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Ring of Fire, 2008-2010

Archival inkjet and analog photographs; metal table with mixed media
Wall; overall: 147.3 x 299.7 cm (58 x 118 in); table: 71.1 x 101.6 x 45.7 cm (28 x 40 x 18 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

Bong-tree Boat, 2014-15

Wood, string, canvas, wax and nails
27.3 x 13.3 x 55.9 cm (10 3/4 x 5 1/4 x 22 in)
Courtesy: © Michelle Stuart

  • Wind/Rain/Time, 1974
  • #28 Moray Hill, 1974
  • Niagara Gorge Path Relocated, 1975
  • Petroglyph, Three Rivers, New Mexico, 1978 (framed and printed in 2010)
  • San Juan Ermita de Chiquimula, 1978
  • Wind Book: Tikal, 1978
  • Serpent Mound, Ohio, 1978-79
  • Stone Alignments/Solstice Cairns, 1979
  • Every Wave Book (for Melville), 1979
  • Ashes in Arcadia, 1987-88
  • Sacred Solstice Alignment, 1981
  • Starchart Constellations, 1992
  • Tapa, 1998
  • Morning Seed Garden, 1997
  • Ring of Fire, 2008-2010
  • Bong-tree Boat, 2014-15

Press

Michelle Stuart, Spiral Notebook

Solomon Adler, SFMOMA

December 2020

Leaves of Grass: Mira Dayal on Michelle Stuart’s books

Mira Dayal, Artforum

February 2020

Shedding of Ephemeral Gestures

Michelle Stuart and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Mousse

April 2019

Stones, Scrolls and the Mysteries of the Universe

Gabrielle Schwarz, Apollo

July 2018

Overlooked Female Artists Getting Attention

Margaret Carrigan, Observer

March 2018

Artists Test Their Muscle

Phoebe Hoban, ARTnews

August 2017

Michelle Stuart’s Magical Land Art

Daisy Woodward, AnOther

October 2016

Female Artists Are (Finally) Getting Their Turn

Hilarie M. Sheets, The New York Times

March 2016

Interview: Michelle Stuart

Sara Zielinski, Huffington Post

March 2016

Review: Michelle Stuart, the Bronx Museum

Natasha Kurchanova, Studio International

March 2016

Michelle Stuart’s Mythologies

Haley Weiss, Interview

February 2016

Michelle Stuart with Ann McCoy

Ann McCoy, The Brooklyn Rail

September 2013

Michelle Stuart: Charting Time and Space

Joyce Beckenstein, Sculpture Magazine

September 2013

A Cosmos of Matter, Enshrined in Her Art

Carol Kino, The New York Times

August 2013

Earth Tones: An Interview with Michelle Stuart

Carly Gaebe, Art in America

July 2013

Exhibitions

Esca, 1997  polished patinated bronze, horse-chestnut seeds, bali-paper, cloth, wood  33 x 61.6 x 13.7 cm, 13 x 24 1/4 x 5 3/8 ins  © Michelle Stuart

Michelle Stuart: The Nature of Time

31 May28 July 2018

Books

Michelle Stuart: The Nature of Time

Alison Jacques

2019

Michelle Stuart: Theatre of Memory

Bronx Museum of the Arts

2016

Michelle Stuart: Trace Memory

Parafin

2015

Michelle Stuart: Drawn From Nature

Hatje Cantz

2013

Michelle Stuart: Sculptural Objects

Charta

2011

Michelle Stuart: Silent Gardens, The American Landscape

Rose Art Museum

1988

Michelle Stuart: Voyages

Hillwood Art Gallery, Long Island University

1985

Michelle Stuart: A Complete Folk History of the United States at the Edge of the Century

Droll/Kolbert Gallery

1978

The Fall

Michelle Stuart

1976

News

Michelle Stuart: An Archeology of Place

Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles

Betty Parsons & Michelle Stuart

in ‘Affinities for Abstraction: Women Artists on Eastern Long Island, 1950-2020’, The Parrish Art Museum, Long Island

Michelle Stuart in conversation with Alicia G. Longwell

The Parrish Art Museum, Long Island

Michelle Stuart in Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist

Viewpoints Podcast

Lygia Clark, Fernanda Gomes, Ana Mendieta & Michelle Stuart

in ‘The Sensation of Space’, The Warehouse, Dallas

Michelle Stuart

in ‘Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography’, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Ana Mendieta & Michelle Stuart

in ‘A Body Measured Against the Earth’, MCA Chicago

Maria Bartuszová, Birgit Jürgenssen, Michelle Stuart, Dorothea Tanning & Hannah Wilke

in ‘Virginia Woolf’, Tate St Ives, Cornwall

Video

(At Home) on Art and Exploration: Artist Talk With Michelle Stuart