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Michelle Stuart: a Fabric of Significations

DURING 1973, IN AN EXTRAORDINARILY intensive period of work, Michelle Stuart produced the series of drawings that is the subject of this note. In terms of technique they are drawings, done with graphite on paper, but they are on the scale of paintings, 12’ by 5’, 9’ by 5’. (Drawings, of course, have been recognized since the 16th century, both by artist and patron, as original objects, bound neither to fragmentary notation nor to functional rehearsal for large works. The only drawings on a scale commensurate to Stuart’s were cartoons for murals, but these have a purely preparatory function.) To the connection with painting can be added a literal projection or recession of the surface that might be thought sculptural. This is the rolling of the paper to produce concealed zones within the work or the extension of the paper off the wall and to the floor. As the paper hangs down, tugged by

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