Michelle Stuart is an American artist. She studied in Mexico, France, and in New York at The New School for Social Research. Since the 1960s, Stuart has created a multifaceted body of work including large-scale earth works, complex multi-media installations, earth drawings, encaustic paintings, sculptural objects, drawings and prints. The photographic image has been an ancillary part of her work in the past; it is currently the primary medium. Stuart has also written and published artist’s books.
Her work references a range of influences, from history, astronomy, botany and her extensive travels to ancient archaeological sites.
Stuart pioneered the utilization of organic mediums such as earth, wax, seeds, and plants to the vertical surface experience. These works that go beyond the bounds of traditional artistic resources articulate the complex processes through a language of exploration of both the physicality of materials and cultural and scientific issues not generally thought of in the vocabulary of art. The changes that take place in organic matter, the extinction series and the series on genetic variation, explore scientific issues that provide a new art vocabulary.
Stuart has exhibited widely. Her work can be found in museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), Dia Art Foundation (New York City), Whitney Museum of Art (New York City), the Art Institute of Chicago, Glenstone (Potomac, MD), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Menil Collection (Houston), the Hammer Museum at UCLA (Los Angeles), and the National Gallery of Art, Canberra, Australia.
Stuart currently lives and works in New York City and Amagansett, New York, and Carpenteria, California.