JOURNAL: BOOK ONE - September 15 – October 28, 2007
Washington DC --- Have you ever peeked inside someone’s diary and read a snippet of secret information, shocking or
banal? That sensation of uninvited intimacy is captured in Renée Stout’s exhibition Journal: Book One. Stout gives the
audience an intimate peek into the life of her alter ego, Fatima Mayfield, as if she opened a private journal. The exhibition
opens to the public on Saturday, September 15 with a reception from 6:30 – 8:30pm. The exhibition remains on view
through Saturday, October 27.
In Journal: Book One, Stout expands her exploration of personal and universal topics of romantic contrasts and conflicts,
financial pressures, and social ills through the fictitious life of Fatima Mayfield, her alter ego, root worker, seer, and healer.
Mayfield’s life story unfolds, in paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings, fueling Stout’s continual exploration of
self-discovery and an attempt to understand human motivations.
Photographic images - a new medium for Stout - cast a spell of film noir. Depicting altars and African inkisi, the images
include evidence of Fatima’s healing roots, as well as vignettes of activity captured from the root worker’s life. Listening
to the Voice of a Spirit depicts Fatima, striking a confident pose, bathed in the bright light of a curtained window. The
figure is at once seductive and imposing. Surrounding her are the details of her inspiration, profession and existence.
The photograph presents the dilemma of Stout’s work, Fatima’s existence, and our human condition: for everything that is
revealed, there is still more that is unknown.
Many of Stout’s works in Journal: Book One address issues of the heart and the complex, often complicated relationships
between male and female. Cures #4 is an intimately scaled painting with a hinged panel attachment and a selection of
vials filled with unidentified remedies. On the hinged panel, an anatomical heart is painted, separated from its owner and
Renée Stout is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Award (2005), The Pollack Krasner Foundation Award (1991 & 1999), the
Anonymous Was a Woman Award (1999), and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1993). Her work has been
exhibited in numerous galleries, universities, and museums both nationally and internationally. Her work is included
in such collections as The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, The San Francisco Museum of Fine Art, CA, The
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Baltimore Museum of Art, MD, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, RI,
and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, among others.