new-york

Michelle Stuart

Fawbush Gallery

The recent proliferation of didactic art about the environment provides a fascinating context for a reassessment of Michelle Stuart’s active meditations on landscape. Entitled “The Elements: 1973–79,” Stuart’s recent show enabled us to reconsider this artist’s early work and its agile negotiation between the timeless and the temporal. Stu-art’s work reflects her focused, prolonged visits to particular environments, and upon reconsideration it reveals a depth often lacking in much ecologically oriented contemporary art.

Her preoccupation with landscape stems not only from a sensitivity to the complex dynamics of place but from a short stint as a professional cartographer. The cartographer views the landscape from a bird’s-eye perspective which renders the world as a map, transforming it into images that disavow the tactility and mutability of real sites in order to present a fixed picture.

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