Fine Art

Iain Stewart is an artist who appears deeply rooted in painterly traditions; however his large scale images, whilst based in the landscape, exploit the possibilities of photography as a time based medium, often employing long exposures at the extreme ends of the day.

Subtle changes in light and colour temperature richly colour the canvas, the horizon line of the landscape or coast present a simple form and structure, representative of the ultimate journey, for Stewart "...the point at which understanding ends...".

References in the work are often musical or painterly. The strongest visual reference is to the work of abstract expressionists - Rothko, Agnes Martin or Clifford Still; Ken Johnston of The New York Times wrote of Stewart¹s work '... Minimalist Photography, like Minimalist Painting, can be paradoxically rich ... Iain Stewart's distant shots of deep blue skies fading to orange or white wed the formal and the celestial.'

However, in many ways, the work is strongly influenced by the Romantic tradition ; using the landscape and the seasons metaphorically brings to mind the work of Turner or Caspar David Freidrich. In Stewart’s work we find ' ... things to which we normally give no names; their larger containers - sky, land, day, night - usually suffice. But when this condition of the elements is brought together with this other, particular developments, harmonies, contrasts, keys are sounded. The musical simile is irresistible. It is the music of German Romanticism.'.


Ken Johnston, The New York Times, August 6 1999

James Lawson, ‘Scottish Photography Now: Between the Culture and the Land' essay from 'LIGHT FROM THE DARKROOM : A Celebration of Scottish Photography', National Galleries of Scotland ISBN 0 903598 38 8

Copyright © 2019 Iain Stewart