THE EXHIBITION FORMERLY KNOWN AS PASSENGERS: 2.3 DIRK STEWEN: CCA WATTIS INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS, SAN FRANCISCO
Using collage, watercolor, and photographs, the German artist Dirk Stewen composes his visual arrangements in a way similar to poetry. He sequences images and text in response to the textures of his materials. Untitled (2007) consists of thread and confetti on black paper and resembles a celestial map; its formal qualities of line, shape, and drape epitomize the artist's signature style. The visual rhythm of Stewen's work is as important as its qualities of concealment and blankness. Jumping Horse (2007), for instance, includes a page from a book describing an oil painting but does not reveal the name of the artist or an image of the artwork. The omission of this information creates a conceptual pause, adding a new and mysterious implication to a phrase such as "progression from the melancholy to the sublime".