Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Michelle Stuart, Lee Bontecou, Marc Selwyn Fine Art presents two new exhibitions featuring artists Michelle Stuart and Lee Bontecou.
Since the 1970s, Michelle Stuart has been internationally recognized for a rich and diverse practice, including site-specific earth works, intimate drawings, paintings, sculpture and photographs, all centered on a lifelong interest in the natural world and the cosmos. A pioneer in the use of nontraditional media, Stuart brings forth imagery by using organic and site-specific materials in unique ways that expand the notion of what art and painting can be.
In this exhibition of paintings from 1985 to 1990, the artist merges science, botany and the collection of organic specimens with a practice that is painterly yet remains deeply connected to the sites from which they are derived. Specimens collected from treks in locations such as Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Arizona are embedded in encaustic and pigment and arranged in modular grid-like patterns that recall the minimalist compositions of artists such as Agnes Martin and Sol LeWitt. As Stuart has noted, “I find great satisfaction in the rigorous structure of the grid, but I like the organic on the grid so that there’s a combination of structure and chaos”. Often, these all over compositions evoke images of galaxies or the night sky, another fascination of the artist. Stuart’s encaustic grid paintings reference the physical and the metaphysical, collapsing time, place, and memory while remaining anchored in their own materiality.
Also on exhibit will be a selection of drawings on graph paper by Lee Bontecou which have never been exhibited outside of the artist’s studio and are exemplary in their staging and ingenuity.
Describing them as “constellation drawings,” Joan Banach has commented that they are “parallel to the optical experiments that take place in her sculpture and demonstrate how drawing functions as a discreet feature of her work. Beginning in the late 1950s, Bontecou was salvaging materials for both her sculpture and her drawings, and choosing various graph papers and accounting ledgers, ruled at varied coordinate scales, for her compositions – a choice that is sustained to the present day.” A significant installation of these works was included in Lee Bontecou’s 2017 exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum den Haag and was acquired by the museum for its permanent collection.
On view: July 24 – September 18, 2021
What: “Technologies of the Self”
Where: Marc Selwyn Fine Art, 9953 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, 90212