Allison Stewart creates a body of work that occupies the space between landscape and organic abstractions. Materials and processes are significant and inform the imagery in this exhibition of mixed media work on canvas and paper. The artist works with various materials that attract and repel – such as acrylic, enamel, inks, tar, charcoal, metallic powders, and wax. Forms appear and dissolve under layers of paint until they finally coalesce into an image that may be both familiar and unknowable. Relying on intuition and instinct, the artist paints “landscapes of interiors: cells, tissues, and systems that comprise living things.” Her intent is not to represent nature, rather convey the uneasy balance between man and his environment and to create a response to the natural world in a state of flux.
“As a biologist and longtime resident of Louisiana, Stewart witnesses our fraught relationship with nature on micro and macrocosmic levels – as we awaken to the peril currently at the heart of our relationship with our biosphere. Poised as she is, Stewart is capable of such delicacy and finesse within the ominous frisson of her underlying message — the oddness of a hue or eccentricity of a formal relationship hints at something much larger and less stable or reassuring than her surfaces may lead us to feel. Stewart’s art isn’t the calm before the storm — it is the eye,” Peter Frank
Stewart has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and has been represented by the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans since 1980. Her work is included in many public, corporate and private collections, including the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Historic New Orleans Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Freeport McMoRan, ARCO, American Express, Pan American Life, and the Pensacola Museum of Art. Awards include fellowships and grants from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation, and artist-in-residence with Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado.
Stewart holds a BS in biology from Spring Hill College and an MFA from the University of New Orleans. She has served on the faculty of the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art, Loyola University, Delgado Community College, Aspen Museum of Art, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado. She maintains studios in New Orleans and Snowmass Village, CO.