Gael Stack

b. 1941 in Chicago, Illinois; lives in Houston, Texas


An artist whose work evokes both memory and the “gaps, sinkholes, and other chasms” of experience, Gael Stack is one of the most accomplished American painters working today. In her large painted canvases and smaller drawings, she combines layers of color and fragments of words and images, amassing a personalized visual language. She borrows from sources such as “renaissance babies,” a Japanese “hungry ghost” called a Gaki, and secretarial shorthand to explore the past’s hold on the present, the unknown and unspoken.
Stack’s untitled Tamarind print from 1988 extends her use of mark-making to create an unsettling yet engaging cluster of activity that includes floating, cherub-like babies, a pseudo-parental overseer, hints of hovering black birds, and veiled scrawled messages.

She received a BFA from the University of Illinois in Urbana and a MFA from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has received critical attention. Group exhibitions include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; the El Paso Museum, El Paso, TX; the Blanton Museum, Austin, TS; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; the Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Stedman/Hubbard Gallery, Paris, France and others. She is currently the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Art at the University of Houston, where she formerly headed a department that has become the region’s premier training ground for the visual arts.

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