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Michelle Stuart. Paradisi: A Garden Mural

DATES April 23, 1986 through June 16, 1986
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
  • April 23, 1986 BROOKLYN, N.Y.--Paradisi, a piece by Michelle Stuart that the artist describes as “a garden mural”, will be on view in the Grand Lobby of The Brooklyn Museum from April 23 through June 16, 1986. In the work, which Stuart intends as a celebration of spring, flower petals are embedded in layers of encaustic. It is composed of 648 rag-paper squares mounted on canvas, the overall size of the piece being approximately 17 by 33 feet.

    Paradisi is the most recent work in a series of large scale pieces begun by Stuart in 1983 and inspired by Buddhist thought and the artist’s travel in Japan. Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brooklyn Museum, describes the piece as “both site specific and time specific. The work grew from a smaller one planned at the beginning of the project into a large magnificent tapestry of shapes and colors, a full blossom, emulating the development of nature in the springtime...It is designed to accommodate the interior space of the Grand Lobby and it also consciously refers to the surroundings of the Museum, the beautiful Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which have been brought inside to become part of the interior environment.”

    References and meanings are manifold in Paradisi, as in all Stuart’s work. Among them, Persian flowering trees, the flower-spangled borders of Persian manuscript pages, and the 15th-century painting by an unknown Rhenish artist titled Mary Garden or Paradise Garden are named by the artist, as well as her long-standing interest in world history and travel. Of Paradisi, Stuart says: “I wanted to make a piece which reflects the Beginning--the myth of the world’s origin, in which spring is equated with paradise.”

    Michelle Stuart, a New York artist who has exhibited extensively in this country and abroad, has worked in a variety of media, from the large scroll-like pieces of the early 1970s, into which earth and rocks were incorporated, to the color photographs of prehistoric tools and local flora in her works of the late 1970s expressing the artist’s strong interest in both archaeology and natural phenomena.

    On Saturday, April 27, an interview with Michelle Stuart will take place in the Museum’s Art Reference Library on the second floor at 3 p.m.

    The Grand Lobby installation projects are made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1986, 024.
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