Saenger Gallery presents Fractured Memories, artist Christopher Stewart's first solo exhibition in Mexico, in the gallery's Project Room.
The exhibition is mainly made up of a selection of recent paintings and some examples that date back to both the recent (2019) and remote (1995) past, which allows us to draw an arc in time within the artist's process that explores the transit, wear and reconfiguration of memory.
Stewart's work explores the relationship between time and materials to observe beauty, order, aging and deterioration. His process includes painting, overpainting, and cut-out vignettes that become source material for future pieces that can take years to complete. “Over time, materials degrade. I am interested in this decomposition of the canvas, the paper and the pigment. Furthermore, my memories of creating the original paintings have faded.”
His paintings evoke a sense of fragility and fractured memories, and the theme of eroded landscapes encourages this contemplation. “I am interested in the evolution of nature, especially with human impact. For example, the root system of a tree on a hiking trail erodes naturally, but the deterioration accelerates when people step on it. Conceptually, that's intriguing.”
Overburdened and partially ruined landscape fragments reflect these paths. Stewart's assiduous process is evident in a recent series, Fractured Memories. Twenty-two years ago, the artist cut several paintings into three-inch squares and glued them to a board. He has since discarded them and created new grid arrangements in an attempt to redefine nature and explore his own forgotten memories. “There is order, but also randomness. The grid permeates art history, and perhaps I am trying to organize my own perception of nature as seen through the supposed original landscapes.”
Christopher Stewart received a painting scholarship to SMU in Dallas, Texas, and studied visual arts (BA in Painting and Printmaking), with a minor in Art History. He continued his career in business and art, earning a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Art. He then went to San Francisco to work in design and marketing at the Young Museum and the Legion of Honor and dedicated himself intensely to visual and graphic design.
The principles of visual design involve the same principles of painting, such as color, relationships, light, composition, and message. He has worked in branding and design for the last 20 years and has been involved in the arts as a collector and patron, while always continuing to paint.
— Saenger Galería