New York

Michelle Stuart

Max Hutchinson Galery

A traditional task of landscape painting is the codification of some characteristic of a topography on a two-dimensional surface. It has had a special significance in American art history, where painting a tract of brute nature was sometimes a first step in civilizing it; and where the transcendental belief that unspoiled nature was a record of God’s intention for earth lent early American landscapes an almost religious aura.

Michelle Stuart makes landscape images that seem to share with 19th-century American landscapists an almost mystical reverence for their subject, codified according to the conventions of Minimalist painting. The landscape characteristic that Stuart manages to record on paper is the color and chemical composition of the soil of a particular site. The Sayreville Quartet is made of four roughly 12-by-5-foot sheets of muslin-mounted rag paper attached to the wall along

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