New York

Jason Stewart

Relief is also a major concern for Jason Stewart, who showed recent unique cast-bronze wall pieces and works on paper. So strong is the movement implied by the graceful sweeping form of Der Vogel von Kreuzberg, 1983, a bronze in which various rectangular and blade-shaped elements are arranged in contrasting diagonals, that it appears to soar off the wall. Adding to the sensation of flight is the refraction of light caused by the rough treatment of the surfaces. In A Man on Fire, 1983, the subtle interplay of overlapped edges becomes an expressive as well as a formal device; although the work’s title encourages one to read flames into its slender, curving, prong-shaped planes, the composition is powerful enough in itself to invite and support extraperceptual readings.

A similar multiple viewing experience is offered by the works on paper. Here, planar forms stacked into overlapping groupings are arranged against textural rag paper. Built up with layers of dry pigment and wax, the planes are in low relief. In A Man Stepping Out, 1983, these relief elements are set against a triangular motif, drawn in gouache directly on the paper, which acts as a kind of fulcrum for the rest of the composition. Contrasting colors heighten the relief’s dimensional aspect.

Ronny Cohen