Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is very pleased to present its first solo exhibition of new work by Dirk Stewen, Even in its blackness, the sky did not rest. This literary reference to the modern urban skyline at night from Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy suggests the random, yet poetic, juxtapositions of images and forms that populate Stewen's works on paper. The works presented explore form and process, seducing the viewer with an uncanny sensitivity to material and imagery while defying the formal classifications of photography, collage, sculpture and drawing.
Stewen uses the exploration of the photographic process as a catalyst within his art making practice. His efforts to disrupt, slow down, or recreate photographic production result in compelling formal compositions and juxtapositions that connect images and forms into constellations of ideas and suggested narratives. A number of works are comprised of sheets of photographic paper painted with dark ink. The ink reacts with the surface of the paper in an entirely organic and fluid manner that the artist sees as referencing the washes and baths required for photographic production. Further mixing medium orthodoxy, Stewen embroiders these near monochrome paintings with delicate colored cotton in linear patterns that trail from the picture. This playful intervention further accentuates notions of the uncontrolled and ephemeral.