Select Portfolio - Stuart Allen - Page 5
Stuart Allen is an artist whose work deals with fundamental elements of perception such as light, time, gravity and space. He has shown photographs, kites and sculpture in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad. His work is found in many private and public collections including the Tokyo Kite Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, the DiRosa Art Preserve, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and U.S. Embassy collections in Canada, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, and the Republic of Georgia. Allen has completed permanent public art commissions for the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada and the Police Headquarters building in Davis, CA. His work has been published in a variety of books and journals including: Picturing California’s Other Landscape: the Great Central Valley, Terra Nova: Nature and Culture, You Are Here: the Journal of Creative Geography, Zyzzyva and Artweek. Allen has lectured or served as a visiting artist at many fine institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Weisman Art Museum, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and a number of university art departments nationwide. Allen studied architecture at Kansas University and graduated from the photography and video department of the Kansas City Art Institute in 1994. He lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife Kelly Lyons, their daughter Aidan and son Vincent. Allen is represented by the following galleries: PDNB, Dallas, TX; JayJay, Sacramento, CA; Jan Manton Art, Brisbane, Australia; Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, MO.
Stuart Allen, artist, photographer, sculptor, public art, kite, kite maker, art consultant, Jayjay, haw contemporary, pdnb gallery, science and art
archive,paged,post-type-archive,post-type-archive-portfolio_page,paged-5,post-type-paged-5,stockholm-core-2.1.2,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-7.1,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode_menu_,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.5.0,vc_responsive,elementor-default,elementor-kit-15382


Red and White Kites

A series of 16 red and white based on traditional Japanese designs. They are made of ripstop nylon sailcloth and fiberglass spars. Each measures 8 feet by 2 feet. The 7 arching strings that make up their bridles are approximately 100 feet long. This network of string orients the kite to the proper flying angle and introduces the drag necessary for stable flight.

temporary installations:
101 California Street, San Francisco, CA, 2003
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN, 2004
San Antonio College, San Antonio, TX,
Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio, TX,

Dance Lines

From the 2003 exhibition press release, Dance Lines: Photographs by Stuart Allen. Courtesy Crocker Art Museum.

Dance Lines is a series of black and white photographs made on-site in the Grand Ballroom of Sacramento, California’s Crocker Art Museum. Building on the artist’s previous investigations of time-based motion, Night Lines (1997 – 1998) and Studio Lines (2000 – 2001), Dance Lines documents the intricate movement of dancers as they perform before the camera.

Using a distinctly photographic device – the light trail produced by a moving light during a long exposure – the artist has recorded maps or diagrams of various dance forms on film.  Though not a dancer himself, Allen has worked with specialists in a variety of disciplines, from ballet to swing, to determine the most effective sequence of moves for each image.

For more information about this series, please click here for an essay by curator Scott Shields, and here for an essay by critic Meredith Goldsmith.


Start, 2002
sailcloth, laminated cherry and ash, string
92″ x 144″ x 32″

permanent installation: Yolo County Health Services Building, Woodland, CA


Light Bulbs

From the press release for the 2003 exhibition Light / Time / Motion. Courtesy Claremont Graduate University.

…Allen’s Light Bulbs series takes the photographic study of light directly to the source. These minimal compositions are contemplations of the nature of photography itself – its relationship to time, space, movement and light. By training his camera on the light source rather than reflected light from a secondary subject, Allen reduces the photographic act to a direct exchange between transmitter (bulb) and receiver (camera).

For more information about this series, please click here for an essay by David Robertson.

Studio Lines

…In the series Studio Lines, Allen created light trails without an obvious external referent. Based on the dimensions and movement of the artist’s body, the patterns in the photographs act as a stand-in for the human form. The light lines are, in a sense, self-portraits, depicting the artist’s movement and presence, rather than his actual appearance. Images of spinning, bending, or gestural sweeps of the arm capitalize on photography’s ability to compress a span of time into one frame.

Adapted from a 2003 essay by Scott Shields.

For more information about this series click here for an artist’s statement.

38° 33′ 05″ N / 121° 43′ 10″ W

38° 33′ 05″ N / 121° 43′ 10″ W , 2001
sailcloth, laminated ash and cherry, stainless steel cable
110″ x 120″ x 95″ (excluding cable)
permanent installation, City of Davis, California Police Headquarters

38° 33′ 05″ N / 121° 43′ 10″ W is a site specific installation in the lobby of the City of Davis Police Headquarters. The title indicates the latitude and longitude coordinates of the site. The piece is fully integrated into the building’s lobby. Braced against a recessed portion of the ceiling and anchored to various points throughout the room, it relies on the surrounding architecture for its structural integrity.

For more information about this piece, please click here for an essay by Celeste Chamberland.


Free-Float, 2000
mixed media
temporary installation: Fairfield Center for the Creative Arts, Fairfield, CA

Free-Float was a collaborative installation by brothers Mitch and Stuart Allen. The piece consisted of three fabric and bowling ball structures, a series of sixteen black and white photographs of airborne figures and a video loop of a person (Mitch) falling perpetually through the sky. The piece was a result of brother’s shared interest in physics and the human experience of gravity.

38° 53′ N / 77° 02′ W ~ 45° 24′ N / 75° 43′ W

38° 53′ N / 77° 02′ W ~ 45° 24′ N / 75° 43′ W, 1999
laminated ash and cherry, sailcloth, string, cable
6 individual pieces, average dimensions: 130″ x 60″ x 60″

permanent installation: U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada

38° 53′ N / 77° 02′ W ~ 45° 24′ N / 75° 43′ W is a site specific installation in the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. The title indicates the latitude and longitude coordinates of Washington D.C. and Ottawa.

The Skidmore, Owings and Merril designed Embassy building is organized along two lofty atrium spaces which run the length of the plan. The installation consists of six individual sculptural forms hanging at varying elevations throughout these spaces. Each hangs from a single stainless steel cable, allowing the sculptures to rotate freely with the building’s interior air currents. The sculptures are a hybrid of kite and sailing vessel forms. Playing off one another, they elucidate subtle varaitions of light and air movement within the space.

The photographs included here depict the individual structures. No installation photographs are shown because Embassy policy prohibits the distribution of interior photographs of the building.

Fabric and Wood Kites

untitled kites, 1996 and 1998
dacron and kevlar sailcloth, oak and cherry, string

Night Lines

Completed during a 1997-98 Artist in Bioregional Residency program in Northern California, Night Lines is a series of nocturnal landscape photographs informed by dynamic light trails. Made using traditional methods (long exposures) and simple tools (a variety of flashlights), the lines are drawn in response to features of the landscape. As the manipulator of the light, the artist himself becomes a primary component of the photographs–albeit an invisible one–as the images document Allen’s interaction with nature and the earth’s topography.

For more information about this series click here for an artist’s statement.