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Renée Stout, 1995

Madam's Desk, from the installation Madam Ching's Parlor
found and handmade objects
overall dim.: 143.8 x 96.5 x 71.1 cm
Courtesy the artist
and David Adamson Gallery
© 1995 Renée Stout

When seeking advice or information, one might find Madam Ching, the conjurer and root worker, behind Madam's Desk. As a child growing up in Pittsburgh, Renée Stout would often see the woman sitting on a stoop who inspired this character; that is, Madam Ching became the artist's alter ego. Casting a wide artistic net that includes a fascinating mix of the personal, the everyday, and the metaphysical, Stout encompasses a variety of influences and meanings.