seraphin gallery, philadelphia art gallery, fine art, contemporary art gallery, ex voto
Gallery proudly presents its second exhibition of the fall season with Kate Stewart entitled, Ex-Voto. The exhibition will run from November 15 through December 8 with an opening reception on Friday, November 15 from 6 – 8 PM.
Ex-Voto features acrylic paintings which portray landscapes obscured by objects such as sheets or blankets. Taking a hiatus from painting several years ago, Stewart found that she wanted to create works with a more spontaneous energy. What came from this desire is the body of work, Ex-Voto. With thick, strong brushstrokes and effortlessly crafted compositions, Stewart’s paintings entice the viewer while leaving much of the story untold, in the hands of those viewing them.
Stewart’s studio is in Amish country, where she is constantly surrounded by large open fields. In her frequent long drives, she sees nature in lengthy stretches – trees changing colors, flowers blooming, and expansive farms. This regular exposure to landscape is what drives her subject matter. Stewart sees landscape as a symbol for the subconscious, one that is both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
Ex-Voto concerns itself with repurposed items. Sheets that were meant to cover beds find themselves stretched over bushes. A rich, saturated blue blanket is wrapped around a workbench and an afghan is tied to a rod like a ship’s flag. These canvases are playful and whimsical. They look as if a child dragged their mother’s sheets out of the house and created a fort in the backyard. The patterns will immediately attract your attention, but it is the composition and brushwork that will keep your focus.
Kate Stewart received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Solo/two-person exhibitions have been displayed at Moore College of Art, the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and Gettysburg College. She has been included in group shows at the Tate Modern, London, and Fleisher Art Memorial, among others around the country. Most recently, Stewart was a finalist for the Pew Foundation Grant and won a research and development grant from West Chester University.