Clark Stewart, a retired professor, taught drawing and painting at the University of Tennessee for 42 years. His work, which is largely figurative, has been shown in over 200 exhibitions worldwide and is included in many private, corporate and museum collections.
As a teenager in Orange County, California, Stewart restored an MG-TC to concours level and progressed through an Alpha Romeo, Porsche, MG, Jaguar and more. An avowed gear head, he is now involved in various vintage motorcycles—Nortons, a Benelli, and a classic BMW. Stewart’s “Automata” project is an attempt to bring his passions of art-making, modeling and machinery together.
“Automata” are sculptures of imaginary, somewhat fantastic cars that are loosely based on exotic cars of the ’30s deco period. Most are around 15 inches long and made of wood, metal, and materials not associated with cars, such as velvet. They have no provision for passengers and are conceived as pure machines, their qualities uncompromised by human occupancy. The series concept is that they are imaginary maquettes for full-scale vehicles that would cruise urban areas controlled by sensors and computer programs—like drones for the viewing pleasure of passing onlookers.