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Michelle Stuart: Drawn from Nature Exhibition Opening Sat., January 26, SBMA

Dates: January 26 – April 20, 2014

Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA)
1130 State St.
Santa Barbara, California

Spanning the period from the late 1960s to the present day, this exhibition presents the work of an artist who radically combined site-specific earthworks with the medium of drawing. Michelle Stuart has become internationally known for a rich and diverse body of work engendered by her lifelong interest in the natural world and the cosmos. Working in drawing, sculpture, photography, video, installation, and site-specific earthworks, she has pursued a subtle and responsive dialogue with nature, distinct from the epic gestures of contemporaneous Land Art. Her engagement with landscape and the natural environment, her use of unconventional, humble materials, and her passion for archaeology and collecting permeate her work.

Stuart is best known for her early monumental drawings made outdoors, where rolls of paper were smashed with rocks, stroked with earth, or rubbed with graphite until the characteristics of a given site became ingrained in their surfaces. Other works in the exhibition respond to the Nazca Lines and Mexican petroglyphs—pushing our understanding of drawing beyond the page. Included are expansive maps of real and imaginary landscapes form the backdrop to a selection of sculptural works and hand-made books. The exhibition concludes with Stuart’s recent photographic grids, expansive works which encapsulate the potent blend of “real history, imaginative history and natural history” that has characterized her work.

Michelle Stuart: Drawn from Nature is the first major museum exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States since 1998, and only the second to be presented in the west. The exhibition is organized and toured by the Djanogly Art Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham, UK. It is accompanied by a 160-page hardcover catalogue with essays by Anna Lovatt, Jane McFadden, and Nancy Princenthal; and an interview with the artist by Julie Joyce.

Related Event:

Book Signing: Michelle Stuart, Drawn from Nature
Sunday, January 26, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
SBMA Museum Store

Michelle Stuart and Anna Lovatt, curator of the exhibition, will be available to sign copies of the beautifully produced monograph Michelle Stuart: Drawn from Nature (Hatje Cantz, 2013), which accompanies the traveling exhibition. This comprehensive overview, the first to survey her works on paper, demonstrates how Stuart re-conceptualized drawing itself in its materiality, possibilities, and within its many conceptual dimensions. The book also focuses on the artist’s aesthetic investigations of personal and shared cultural histories and the nature of time measured within nature’s substances.

Photo information: Michelle Stuart, Starchart Constellations, 1992. Wanas Sculpture Park and Castle, Knislinge, Sweden. Fiberglass columns, miniature lighting systems; installed in a 13th-century barn. 2013 © Michelle Stuart, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York.

For more information about this event please click here.

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