Kate Spencer Stewart Convention April 23 - May 27 2022

Bureau is pleased to present Convention, Kate Spencer Stewart’s first solo exhibition at Bureau. The installation comprises eight large, square format oil paintings. Each painting is contained and unique while also sharing a potentially vast and limitless visual-spatial field with its nearby siblings. Installed together they form a polluted and cacophonic chorus, invoking the experiential nature of an enveloping altarpiece, or a dense and chaotic frieze. The works offer a synesthetic space, one where the senses merge and warp; where color, texture and light transform into vibration and drone. At different vantage points the paintings buzz and hum, sometimes acutely and sometimes diffusely. The works’ surfaces open up and unfold as the observer shifts and moves around them. There is a close and encompassing view, where patterns of brushwork fan and feather over atmospheric underpaintings. Pulling back, there are sweeps of color which cloud and shimmer, radiating out to expanding fields of spatial movement. 

Stewart admits that she is always attempting to paint nothing, or the void. Her process is grounded in repetitive mark making, re-examination and reiteration. The paintings start from a seed of reference but work off one another in a kind of feedback loop, with each proceeding through layered processes that contain many entry points. Ultimately the viewer is left with something new, that only the painting itself can communicate. Stewart highlights the element of earth, and the predominance of brown in the paintings for Convention. The transformation of matter unfolds on the works’ surfaces, building from earthy and aqueous underpaintings to the gaseous movement of igneous colors as the paintings transmit a blurred, hazy light. The artist’s manipulation of raw material – of crushed earth elements, ground crystals, and rare organic pigments – is ultimately employed, paradoxically, to offer a view toward the non-material.

Kate Spencer Stewart (b. 1984 Phoenix, AZ) Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and attended the Mountain School of the Arts, Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Maison de Rendez-Vous, Brussels; Park View / Paul Soto, Los Angeles; and The Gallery @ Le Hangar Restaurant, Paris. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Emalin, London; Bureau, New York; Neuer Kunstverein Wien, Austria; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Misako & Rosen Gallery, Tokyo; and Piktogram Gallery, Warsaw, among others.

Two large square abstract paintings installed close to each other on a long gallery wall.
A square abstract painting with a brushy brown and orange underpainting with purple and dark brown accents.

Comb, 2022, Oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

A square abstract painting with brown areas with red accents and a purple area full of brushstrokes.

Trench, 2022, Oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

Four large, square, abstract paintings evenly spaced apart from one another in a large gallery space.
Two large square abstract paintings hung close together on a long gallery wall with a closed door way to the left.
A large, square abstract painting rendered in a range of greens.

Waine, 2022, Oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

A large, square abstract painting primarily rendered in white with many gestural and colorful accents.

Lith, 2022, Oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

Five large, abstract, square paintings hung evenly spaced from one another in a large gallery space.
Three large, square, abstract paintings hung evenly spaced on a long gallery wall.
A large, square, abstract painting rendered in dark purples with gestural accents.

Esker, 2022, Oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

A large square, abstract painting rendered in a range of dark browns.

Ost, 2022, Oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

A large square, abstract painting with brown strips of color with red accents. To the left of the painting is brushy area of blue paints.

Barrow, 2022, Oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

Four square, large abstract paintings hung evenly spaced throughout a large gallery space.
A large, square abstract painting rendered in a range of greens and grays.

Vibern, 2022, Oil on linen, 66 × 66 in.

Two large, square abstract paintings are hung in the corner of a large gallery space.
Three large, square abstract paintings installed on separate walls in a large gallery space with the long hallway in the back.
A small square painting depicting a series of graphic flowers in black and blue.

Skarbie, 2022, Oil on canvas, 12 × 12 in.

A small square abstract painting depicting graphic flowers in black and blue. Below is a chair.