September 23, 2019 Taos, New Mexico

The Harwood Museum of Art

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Sunday, June 2 - Sunday, November 10, 2019

Alicia Stewart: Unfinished . . .

Gallery: Peter & Madeleine Martin Gallery
Alicia Stewart, Untitled (Self-Portrait - unfinished), 2016, oil on canvas, 24x36." Courtesy of Tamara Stewart Alicia Stewart, The Nest, 2017, oil on canvas, 48x48." Courtesy of Tamara StewartAlicia Stewart, Untitled/Unfinished (Girl with Bees in Her Mouth), 2016, Oil on canvas, 30” x 20”, Courtesy of Tamara Stewart.  Alicia Stewart, Untitled/Unfinished (Girl with Bees in Her Mouth), 2016, Oil on canvas, 30” x 20”, Courtesy of Tamara Stewart.  Alicia Stewart, Hibernation, 2017, oil on canvas, 48" x 48." Courtesy of Tamara Stewart.
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 Opening reception: Sunday, June 2, 2019 – noon to 5:00pm

Alicia Stewart’s death at age 18 was a tragedy not only for her family and friends, but perhaps for the future world of art as well. In high school she had already proved herself. When I saw the New Mexico School for the Arts exhibition at the Santa Fe Convention Center in 2017, I was impressed by the high quality of the graduating class but I was particularly drawn to Stewart’s The Nest and Hibernation. They are not only beautifully painted but also deeply disturbing. They stuck in my mind.

As Alicia’s mother was a friend of mine, I found out more about this singular young woman and was excited to hear that she would be attending the prestigious Maryland Institute of Art in the fall. She studied there for only a month before succumbing to an epileptic attack, perhaps brought on by childhood trauma. Her high school (in the process of inhabiting the former Sanbusco Center in Santa Fe) produced an exhibition of her work in 2018 and I was once again astounded at her faultless figuration.

Perhaps Stewart was drawn to realism because she had something to say to her audiences. From interiors to landscape to figure groups to her sketchbooks, but especially in her nudes, portraits, and self portraits, her skill allowed her to concentrate on content, and on eerily mature psychological insights. Her notebooks not only prove that she could do anything she tried, a wide variety of styles and ideas, but offer some revealing statements, such as: “In no way do these things define me…” We are rarely given such a clear glimpse into a talented young woman’s experience -- painful, mysterious, and exhilarating.
     – Lucy R. Lippard

Alicia Stewart (1999 - 2017) grew up in Madrid, New Mexico, and at an early age began making artwork inspired by her vivid imagination. Stewart graduated from the state-chartered New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe. She worked in oil and was experimenting with film. A trip to Haiti inspired her work in depicting street life. Her first exhibition was at the Metallo Gallery in Madrid, N.M.

This exhibition is the first museum showing of Stewart’s work and is curated by Lucy Lippard.

 

Alicia Stewart