Stewart’s unique sense of space creates compositions that attempt to visualize the unknown. With a vibrant and emotional palette, the artist portrays open doors that seem to organically unveil themselves to the viewer, but what remains uncertain is where these entryways will lead. Brushy shapes and gradient tones convey a wide open space like that of a day lit or sunset sky; although the viewer is keenly aware that this is not an actual representation-- but a void. It would seem that Stewart’s works lead to a very specific place and also nowhere at the same time.
To dive into one of these paintings is to accept a journey through a gateway into the unexplored and risking that what is on the other side may be darker and more mysterious than previously thought. And yet, it could also be a space where elation is constant and personal truth is found. The viewer is perpetually caught in this liminal space of transition—in the amorphous obscurity before the clarity of change.
Stewart’s brushstrokes and blending of paint is reminiscent of the color field painters of the 1960s, as well as certain lyrical and minimalistic works by Helen Frankenthaler and more recent works by Howard Hodgkin.
By Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery