“I love the way [oil paint] moves, smells, looks. I never actually mix impasto or anything with my paint. I joke and say it’s blasphemy. My work is built up of pure, out of the tube, oils.” (Stevie Dix)
Stevie Dix is part of a new generation of uprising young artists whose work is driven by a renewed interest in challenging painting’s traditional expressive possibilities. The astounding quality of this UK based Belgian artist’s production is also an important reminder of how regrettable the absence of a female perspective upon this field has been until now. With her personal, spontaneous yet extremely aware approach to oil painting, she embraces the qualities of this traditional medium while bending it into a language of her own.
Dix’s paintings are deeply gestural, informal, thick and dirty. The energy of the paint strokes still vibrates in the materic texture of the canvas. In this almost sculptural approach to painting, that is wild and controlled at once, we can sense the profound attraction and relation she has with the material she is working with. It is hard to stop looking at this moving surface breaking through the flatness of the canvas.
Figuration and abstraction come together in a sometimes harmonic, sometimes brutal juxtaposition which characterises Dix’s production. A boot, a vase, a bird or some brushes materialise from the still consistently abstract surface. These everyday objects are giving us recognisable glimpses of the personal and intimate universe inhabiting her works while the Belgian artist’s sense of composition creates a tension in the balance of the paintings which reflects their emotional charge and makes them reverberate with that same turmoil.
Dix’s faculty to personally and consciously appropriate the language of oil painting and her ability to intimately communicate through its thick materic surface are fully demonstrated in Désert. The new series of oils on canvas, appositely painted for this exhibition, is minimalistic and stripped to the essential. With these paintings Stevie Dix speaks through light clusters of everyday objects, which float on the materic yet bare surface of the canvases, metaphorically mirroring a fascinating inner landscape.
Stevie Dix (b.1990, Belgium) lives and works between Suffolk and London in the UK. She had solo exhibitions at The Journal Gallery’s Tennis Elbow in New York (USA), The Cabin in Los Angeles (USA) and Rod Barton Gallery in London (UK). She has also been included in group shows at Plus One Gallery in Antwerp (Belgium), Carlsberg Byens Galleri och Kunstsalon in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Louis 21 Gallery in Mallorca (Spain). Désert is her first solo show with Nevven Gallery.