Stephen Althouse: Metanoia


September 20 – December 29, 2019 – Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Brooker Sr. Grand Gallery

Inspired by his love of tools and farm equipment, American artist Stephen Althouse (b. 1948) fabricated his early sculptures out of wood, leather, and forged metal to resemble farming implements. Later, rather than making sculptures from raw materials, he began collecting already made objects which he loosely assembled together to create new works of art. He transitioned from sculptor to photographer when he discovered that once a piece was assembled, he could use photography as a tool to capture and control the perception of his work.  Althouse continues to approach his work as a sculptor, assembling and enshrouding tools, artifacts, clothing, and weapons into a unique pictorial dialect. He further manipulates the scene with lighting, camera and computer work, and increased scale to create his larger-than-life minimalist compositions. The relics that Althouse chooses remind him of the “paradoxes of our species, and some imply the valor of individuals facing lives of relentless uncertainty.”

Raised on a farm in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Althouse grew up close to farmers and their work with earth and animals. He made Miami, Florida his home base for thirty years where he worked as an artist as well as Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts at Barry University, and he regularly taught courses and lectured on his art in France, England, Spain, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. In 2003-2004, Althouse lived in Belgium as an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Liège through a Fulbright Research Fellowship and concurrent German grants from Hahnemühle papers and Epson printers. Since leaving academia, he now resides in central Pennsylvania where he is reconnecting with his georgic roots and finding new artistic inspiration from the surrounding Amish community. This exhibition is organized by the Mobile Museum of Art.