Renee Stout: At the Crossroads
Visual Art Center of New JerseySeptember 25, 2016 - March 17, 2017
Visual Art Center of New Jersey
Mitzi & Warren Eisenberg Gallery
68 Elm Street, Summit, NJ 07901
Washington, DC artist Renée Stout is well known for her handmade assemblages that combine African American customs, vestigial religions, and popular culture with personal history and politics. This exhibition explores Stout’s belief that humanity is at a vital crossroads, in need of guidance and direction to navigate through a storm of political and religious conflict and social and economic inequality. According to the artist, “The crossroads is a place of chance, choices and decision making. Everyone has ancestors, and the way I see it, they’re all watching, waiting and wondering if we’ll make the right choices to bring the world to a more enlightened place, so that everyone has the ability and conditions in which to grow and flourish.”
Made from a variety of repurposed found objects and materials, Stout’s assemblages often suggest old-fashioned communication instruments. She positions each element in the show as a metaphorical device for receiving and harnessing spiritual power and wisdom from the past, enabling viewers at the crossroads to imagine a new world of possibilities for the future.