Description

Beth Stuart’s painting is marked by a strange relationship with reality largely influenced by Surrealist literature. Residing in the interstitial realm between painting and sculpture, Scanty Shanty is neither wholly abstract nor truly figurative. Its title is equivocal and its meaning mysterious. It suggests a shack with a chimney puffing airy smoke, but, despite the title’s hint at a form of representation, the nature of the subject remains unclear. The picture calls to mind paradoxical representations that generate ambiguity. The application of the paint and the irregular shape of the stretcher convey a certain awkwardness, but Stuart’s command of inelegance may be precisely what separates her work from the obvious and the conventional. M.-E. B.