• Brenda Stumpf in the studio, Pittsburgh

Artist Statement

My art taps into mysterious and enchanted places including the dark secretive ones, invoking something ancient and timeless by way of the symbolic. Self taught, I work intuitively with no sketching or planning, I have a compulsion to make intricate use of mixed media and found materials, creating on both intimate and physically massive scales.

My work has referenced female historic and mythic figures such as Pandora, Seshat, the Black Madonna, Hatshepsut, the victims of Jack the Ripper and the women of the Inquisitions. I have delved into my personal history playing with nostalgia and memory, and continue to be inspired by the works of composer Arvo Pärt and the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

From my perspective, in the broadest context, there is a profound healing in the creation of art. It provides for the simultaneous healing of one’s life, ancestral lineage, and collective pain body. Creating art is a mystical and potent act – a shamanistic environ that transcends time and space.

Biography

Brenda Stumpf (American, b.1972) is a contemporary sculptor and painter. Stumpf began exhibiting her work during the mid 1990s upon leaving art school and has been recognized for her intricate use of unorthodox materials— the paper of steeped tea bags, unraveled rope, sand, plastic flowers, animal bones, salvaged wood, and scraped wallpaper — to create sculptures and assembled paintings that have a baroque sensibility layered atop evocative subject matter. Mythology, mysticism, ancient history and poetry are deep wells for Stumpf’s ceaseless intrigue into the mysterious, secretive, and unknown. When dismantling and then reconstructing with the found and discarded materials, Stumpf does so with an almost shamanistic approach — a potent act akin to the cycle of death and rebirth.

Stumpf’s paintings, sculpture, and works on paper have been exhibited in 26 solo and 122 group exhibitions that include the Butler Institute of American Art, the Littleton Museum, Denver Community Museum, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Foothills Art Center, Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, and this summer, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. The artist’s work has been juried into numerous exhibits by the likes of Jerry Saltz, senior art critic and columnist for New York magazine, Christoph Heinrich, Director of the Denver Art Museum, Jamie Sterns, writer and the curatorial director of Brooklyn’s Interstate Projects, and Taras Malta, Associate Director and current Acting Director of the University of Maryland Art Gallery.

Designers, architects, institutions, and private clients have commissioned Stumpf to create signature works and currently her art resides in over 350 collections throughout the United States and abroad. Originally from Parma, OH the artist currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Brenda Stumpf, Blood Roses in process in the studio

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019 Westmoreland Museum (Robertshaw Gallery) “Cavomyrt” Greensburg, PA
2018 Jodee Harris Gallery “Bewitched” Greensburg, PA
2017 The Mine Factory “Ritual & Relic” Pittsburgh, PA
2016 Bill Lowe Gallery “Cavomyrt” Atlanta, GA
2015 Box Heart Gallery “Between Worlds” Pittsburgh, PA
2013 GroundSwell Gallery “Odes” Denver, CO
2012 Ironton “Blood Roses: A Cycle of Souls” Denver, CO
2010 Walker Fine Art “Seshat” Denver, CO
2007 Valley Art Center “Utterances” Chagrin Falls, OH
2006 E. Gordon Gallery “Offerings and Attributes” Cleveland, OH
2006 Exit Gallery “Sand and Water” Kent, OH
2004 Box Heart Gallery “Bride of Epimetheus” Pittsburgh, PA 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019 Pittsburgh Glass Center “Idea Furnace Retrospective” Pittsburgh, PA
2019 Sager Braudis Gallery “2019 May Exhibit” Columbia, MO
2019 Strohl Art Center “Small Sculptures: Big Impact” Chautauqua, NY
2019 Strohl Art Center “On Common Ground: Works on Paper” Chautauqua, NY
2018 Pittsburgh International Airport “Art in the Airport” Pittsburgh, PA
2018 Southside Works “106th AAP Annual” Pittsburgh, PA
2018 Sweetwater Center for the Arts “Corners of Thought” Sewickley, PA
2018 AEG Underground at Andrew Edlin Gallery “Et Tu, Art Brute?” New York, NY
2017 H Gallery “Underbelly” Ventura, CA
2017 Trust Arts Education Center “Drap-Art” Pittsburgh, PA
2016 Lascaux Gallery “Past, Present, Future” New York, NY
2015 Bill Lowe Gallery “Ancestors: Origin and Return” Atlanta, GA
2015 Penn State New Kensington “The Unspoken” Lower Burrell, PA
2013 Littleton Museum “Own an Original” Littleton, CO
2011 Loveland Sculpture Invitational “20th Anniversary” Loveland, CO
2011 Denver International Airport & State Capital “Creative Capital” Denver, CO
2009 Butler Institute of American Art “73rd Midyear Exhibition” Youngstown, OH

ART FAIRS

2018 Outsider Art Fair Special Project: Onward, New York, NY
2015 Love Art Toronto Box Heart Gallery, Toronto, CAN
2014 Echo Arts Fair Box Heart Gallery, Buffalo, NY

TELEVISION / RADIO / PODCASTS

2019 Sager Braudis Gallery Speaking of the Arts. 89.5 KOPN
2018 9 Artists 9 Neighborhoods PCTV21
2014 Recycled Art Dan’s Daily Destination. Fox, KDVR
2018 From Trash to Art Colorado’s Best, Fox, KDVR
2013 The Art of Rubbish Aurora News Weekly, Aurora 8
2010 Episode 66 – Brenda Stumpf Untitled Art Show

INTERVIEWS

2018 LOCAL Pittsburgh A Studio Visit with Brenda Stumpf.
2018 Creativenonfiction.org On Mystery & Materiality.
2014 Pittsburgh Articulate Interview with Brenda Stumpf & Nicole Capozzi.
2012 Westword.com The Story Behind Your Soft Silence.

REVIEWS / ESSAYS / MENTIONS

2017 Local Arts Pittsburgh “Art Show Recap”
2017 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “The Ultimate Makeovers Arrive Downtown”
2017 Triblive.com “Artists still take an abstract view of the world at Sweetwater”
2016 Atlanta INtown “Brenda Stumpf opens new show at Bill Lowe Gallery”
2015 Pittsburgh City Paper “Stumpf explores decay and rebirth at Boxheart”
2013 Westword.com “Create Art Out of Found Objects at Recycling Reversal”
2011 Reporter-Herald “Sculptor makes the ordinary intriguing”
2010 Artscribe.net “Seshat”

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

Over 350 private collections throughout the United States and abroad

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

TRYP Hotel Pittsburgh, PA
Eastern New Mexico University Portales, NM
Liberty Financial Bank Building Dakota Dunes, SD
Saint Vincent Charity Hospital Cleveland, OH
The Caritas AIDS Memorial St. Augustine Manor, Cleveland, OH
The Crawford Hotel Denver, CO
The Ellet Library Akron, OH
Trinity Cathedral Cleveland, OH

RITUAL AND RELIC

directed by Laura J. Boyd

Multiple conversations and studio visits highlight the painting Didymous, the Blood Roses series and the Cavomyrt work. It gives a number of insights into the work and my process. The slow and up close shots reveal the detail and subtlety of these paintings that really haven’t been captured this way before.

© 2019 BRENDA STUMPF STUDIOS LLC