new-york

Dirk Stewen

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Dirk Stewen’s assemblages perform a delicate balancing act, bringing together decorative abstractions and enigmatic arrangements of photography, appropriated text, and found objects. Elegant and reserved, the German artist’s second solo show in New York largely reiterated past successes while offering a few surprises. Each of three finely tuned works, Die Assistenten II, III, and IV (The Assistants II, III, and IV) (all works 2008), consists of two collaged compositions, between which a thin black wooden rod leans against the wall. In each configuration, one of the compositions combines three faded, blank book pages and two dots of black confetti, arranged like a pair of eyes. The other, offsetting such whimsy, features a rectangular canvas swath or two sewn to a large sheet of photo paper that has been blackened with India ink; the layers have been stitched together with thread that

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