Exhibitionin New York, NY / United States
Marc Straus is proud to present a reimagined and expanded version of our first solo exhibition with Washington D.C. based artist Renée Stout (b. 1958). New paintings, sculptures, and drawings will be displayed among a handful of works made over the past decade for context.
Stout’s inspirations are deeply rooted in her research of Hoodoo, Vodou, Santeria, and other African-based belief systems that have manifested and spread throughout the African Diaspora over centuries and continue today. Her focus is primarily on the American Southeast and Caribbean, where those belief systems have had some influences from Catholicism and Native American spiritual traditions. She has been drawn to science fiction and all forms of music since her youth.
Stout sometimes references an alter-ego, Fatima Mayfield, who is a major character motif throughout her oeuvre. Fatima Mayfield, is a root worker, who provides alternative health care to those in her community who would not otherwise have access to these services. This narrative, deeply ingrained in modern America, explores longtime issues of underserved communities, issues that have been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her paintings have a phantasmagoric quality with illusive narratives: often with writing and numerology. Many of the sculptures are small and appear to be antique commercial objects, but in reality, they are carefully composed fictions. Her sculptures are assemblages of scavenged objects, many hand-constructed or resurfaced, to be a believable facsimile of original, pre-existing devices. She assigns these ‘machines’ specific supernatural abilities that transcend our human existence in the world. They are physical metaphors for universal hopes.
Stout crosses dimensional planes to illustrate and celebrate the paths humans take to from difficult histories to our current, often chaotic, and conflicted times. Throughout Stout’s work, there is an undercurrent of contemporary political commentary; it may subtly touch upon more recent issues, such as climate change and immigration policy.
In 2020, Stout was awarded The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Award, and a Virginia A. Groot Foundation Award, and in 2018, the Women’s Caucus for Art, Lifetime Achievement award.
Stout was born in Junction City, Kansas, and grew up in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Her work is in the permanent collections of The National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The High Museum in Atlanta, The Hirshhorn, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Saint Louis Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and many more.
Gallery hours Tues-Sat 11 am – 6 pm
299 Grand Street
10002 New York, NY