Michelle Stuart, Theatre of Memory: Photographic Works
February 3 to June 26, 2016

The Bronx Museum of the Arts will present an exhibition of photographic works by Michelle Stuart, on view February 3 through June 26. Widely recognized as one of the very few female pioneers of Land Art, Stuart is known for her nature-based art dating to the late 1960s and 1970s. Comparatively lesser-known are her remarkable photographic works, which constitute a crucial part of her oeuvre and have been her primary focus over the past several years.


Organized by guest curator Gregory Volk, Michelle Stuart, Theatre of Memory: Photographic Works consists of twelve recent large-scale works—including a major wall piece created specifically for this exhibition—as well as two important pieces from the early 1980s that can be seen as precursors to Stuart’s later direction.  This exhibition is the first museum treatment of Stuart’s photography-based works.


“Michelle Stuart is an innovator, and her turn to photography in the last few years, once again, shows that she is always exploring new ways to create unique perspectives on the world,” said Holly Block, Executive Director of The Bronx Museum of the Arts. “We are excited to present her recent and new work at The Bronx Museum.”

The exhibition will also debut My Still Life (2015-16), a major, large-scale work created for this show—“an autobiographical opus of sorts,” as Volk describes it. Photographs of a series of what might be called ‘sculptural vignettes’ bring together objects and images—including archival and vintage personal photographs, actual things (e.g., a whale bone, a ceramic frog, a pomegranate), maps, celestial landscapes, and fragments of writing on paper, among others—many of which Stuart collected and have been with her for years. 


Also included in the exhibition are two works from Stuart’s early 1980s Codex series, with squares of earth-rubbed paper (the earth is from specific sites that Stuart visited, including a New Jersey quarry and the ancient Maya city of Uxmal in Mexico) surrounded by photographs of the same site. Stuart’s Codex pieces, with their incorporation of photos, herald her recent photography-based work.


More information on Theatre of Memory and artist Michelle Stuart can be found in the attached press release.


Michelle Stuart, Theatre of Memory: Photographic Works is generously supported by Anonymous (3) and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.


About Michelle Stuart
Since the 1970s, Michelle Stuart has been internationally recognized for innovative works that synthesize Land Art, drawing, sculpture, and photography. Recent traveling exhibitions include: Michelle Stuart: Drawn From Nature at the Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham, U.K.; the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York; and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, 2013–2014; Apparitions: Frottages and Rubbings from 1860 to Now, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and the Menil Collection, Houston, 2015–2016. Most recently, Stuart was included in Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, Los Angeles, 2016. One of Stuart’s earth-rubbed scrolls was featured in America Is Hard to See, the inaugural exhibition of the new Whitney Museum. 


About Gregory Volk
Gregory Volk is a New York–based art writer and independent curator who writes regularly for Art in America, as well as for many other publications. He has recently contributed essays to exhibition catalogues on Francis Alÿs, Fred Tomaselli, and Ayşe Erkmen, among others. Volk has curated numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including Elemental (2013) at Havremagasinet in Boden, Sweden, which featured both Icelandic artists and international artists deeply engaged with Iceland, and The Transportation Business (2015) at Jane Lombard Gallery in New York, with works by US and international artists that involve multiple kinds of transportation. He is also associate professor in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.



View Michelle Stuart and Gregory Volk in Conversation on Photography as Art 


On Saturday, April 16, 2016, artist Michelle Stuart and exhibition curator Gregory Volk facilitated an engaging insider’s perspective on The Bronx Museum of the Arts's exhibition Theatre of Memory: Photographic Works. Video created by: ©2016 Christopher Alzapiedi


Selected Press

Interview with Michelle Stuart

May 11, 2016


Photograph’s May/June print issue has published Lyle Rexer’s interview with Michelle Stuart, which covers a full 2-page spread along with two images from the exhibition. Lyle notes that the exhibition is the “first museum treatment of [Stuart’s] photography,” and he describes the organization of the exhibition as “intentional and precise.”

Huffington Post
Interview with Michelle Stuart
March 22, 2016

Multi-media artist and Huffington Post contributer Sara Zielinski interviewed Michelle Stuart to discuss her background and artistic practice.

Studio International
Michelle Stuart: Theatre of Memory – Photographic Works
March 17, 2016

In an overview of the exhibition, writer Natasha Kurchanova proposes that Theatre of Memory "invites us to find it not only in the shining beauty and magic of [Stuart's] vision, but also in an attempt to find a connection between her early and recent works."

12 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before February 12
February 8, 2016

Making the top twelve list of top art world events taking place in early February, the exhibition, "deftly organized by art critic and curator Gregory Volk," is higlighted as an opportunity to view the artist's lesser-known photography-based works, including "her recent still lifes, which poetically combine distinctive objects and images culled from her vast archive."

Interview Magazine
Michelle Stuart's Mythologies
February 5, 2016

In an interview with Hailey Weiss, artist Michelle Stuart discusses her artistic practice and the various books, objects, and memories that influenced the works in Theatre of Memory.

Gothamist Winter Guide: 20 Ways To Have A Fantastic February
February 1, 2016

Featured in the online publication's winter guide for the month of February, Stuart’s work is called “mystifying” and attention is brought to My Still Life, “new series of still lifes shot specifically for the museum show.” 

OPEN on BronxNet
January 29, 2016

In an interview with "Open" host Rhina Valentin, guest curator Gregory Volk calls Stuart’s work “endlessly curious, investigating, [and] poetic,”  and notes that this exhibition is the first time her more recent photographic work will be on display in a museum. 



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