• dirk standing with artworks

    Regarded for his works on paper, Dirk Stewen has developed a rich and varied practice that incorporates aspects of photography, drawing, assemblage, collage, and embroidery. Drawing from his own collection of images, the artist presents unexpected yet poignant juxtapositions of forms, materials and ideas that suggest new associations and narratives. Faded photographs, watercolors, confetti and thread are among the many materials Stewen has recombined into poetic compositions that are at once visually arresting and charged with emotion.

  • It only takes a second and next to nothing to create a picture - if you trust the unpredictable. But when things happen pretty fast the desire for control will also grow. In my work I try to make these elements compete with each other - it stimulates the mind.
  • painting hanging in studio
    By translating  images into very different surfaces I am trying to find a place of openness and balance and that place is also full of secrets. 
    To me, beauty is not a taboo at all. I am not afraid of it. After all I think that art is an aesthetic experience.
  • dirk confetti cut outs
  • work on paper in studio

    I edit and re-edit my own photography all taken from my personal photographic archive. I like them to appear like found footage.


    It somehow sets me free but also expresses my dissatisfaction and distrust with the medium and I put myself in the background as a photographer.

  • collaged watercolor and drawing collaged watercolor and drawing
  • In the studio many of the works on paper are just exercises and in general many activities there are just exercises and remain exercises. But sometimes the works on paper become  source of material to cut all sorts of confetti. 
    It´s recently that I am beginning to accept these leftovers as works on their own. I  almost think they might be the heart of the work. I can now read them like a diary. 
  • studio installation hand holding up print
  • installation image of two paintings
  • During the past decade, Stewen’s work has been exhibited at numerous museums throughout Europe and the United States. Notable solo presentations include Exercises at Overbeck Gesellschaft in Lübeck, Germany (2009), The Exhibition Formerly Known as Passengers at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco (2008), and Sugar, Lump, Sugar at Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart in Germany (2006), among others.

    His work has also been included in group exhibitions at Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, the former Arthouse in Austin, TX, Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina, Kunstverein Hamburg, and Dundee Contemporary Arts in Scotland.