The Tension of City and Nature in Kyle Stewart’s Paintings

by Andy SmithPosted on

Toronto-based artist Kyle Stewart crafts oil paintings that blend introspection and a relationship to place. He created the above oil painting for the upcoming group show “Nexus,” arriving at Thinkspace Gallery on Nov. 5 and running through Jan. 7. Much of the artist’s work tackles themes of memories and changing backdrops. In particular, you can see how Stewart remembers a rural existence and the tension of reconciling a newer existence in the city.

A bio of the artist comments on that idea: “Living in downtown Toronto, the shapes and colours found on the graffiti covered walls quickly merged with thoughts of a past rural life. What was once a close relationship became a distant and broken conversation.”

While past work shows how memory can be distorted, the subjects in the artist’s current work take a more active role in wrestling with the new and the old. The series “Take it Outside” feature the bundling of wall art against pastoral settings. “The Collider Effect” has figures entangled in the distortion once reserved for those backgrounds in the “Setting the Stage” series. His newer works tend to be smaller, not much larger than the length of the artist’s hand.

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