Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to announce Sign and Flow, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Allison Stewart.
A long time resident of Louisiana, Allison Stewart’s work is a biologist’s meditation on the region. Through sticks of graphite, layers of pigment, glazes and varnish, Stewart renders ephemeral, organic forms that haunt and hint at the history of the coastline. Black rivers and swampy vascular systems are the result of Stewart’s millings through the nature of our relationship with nature: the negotiations, the neglect, the tantrums and the tenderness. A trained biologist, Stewart takes from the ancient tradition that began with the question, “how does this work,” and fuels her tributaries of wondering. Her method of working on several canvases simultaneously takes curiosity and spreads it out, flattens and layers it until it floats with water logged ginkgo leaves wrapped in tempests and spills, the fortune and misfortune that make up our mystery. Nature and art are a loaded duo and often handled as if by one inexperienced with firearms. But Stewart is not bandying concepts, she is working through them. Commenting on her own work she says: “I am a part of a thirty thousand year old tradition of making marks on a surface. Painting is a means to help me recognize that we are a part of an interconnected web of life that ultimately we cannot dominate.”
Allison Stewart has exhibited extensively throughout the United States. Her work is included in many public, corporate and private collections, including the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies Program, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Chase Manhattan Bank, American Express, Pan American Life, and the Pensacola Museum of Art. Awards received include a fellowship from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation Grant. In 2005 she was awarded an Artist in Residence position at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado. In 2009 Stewart received an Artist Honoree award from the New Orleans Museum of Art. Stewart is the cofounder of KID smART, a Louisiana based non-profit organization that links the arts with the existing academic curriculum. KID smart helps under-resourced children in New Orleans learn about themselves and their world through the visual and performing arts.