Samantha Bittman: Oscillate
May 7 – June 7, 2018
C O U N T Y is pleased to present Oscillate, a solo exhibition of woven paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Samantha Bittman.
Samantha Bittman’s works are characterized by their lively geometries, textural surfaces, and the artist’s meticulous attention to craft. Some of the works in Oscillate were produced during a recent 2018 residency at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, where Bittman directly engaged the respective histories of painting and weaving that the Albers represent.
In addition to the Albers Foundation residency, Bittman has been awarded prestigious residencies at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and Ox-Bow School of Art. Recent solo exhibitions include The Museum of Arts & Design (New York), Ronchini (London), Andrew Rafacz (Chicago), Morgan Lehman (New York), and Greenpoint Terminal Gallery (Brooklyn). In 2012, Bittman received the Artadia Award, and her work has been favorably reviewed in Artforum, New American Paintings, Wall Street International, Hyperallergic, Blouin Artinfo, and The Brooklyn Rail, among other leading art publications.
All of the works in Oscillate begin with graphically-driven textiles that Bittman weaves by hand using a traditional floor loom. Once woven, Bittman stretches the textiles around traditional stretcher bars, then paints select areas with carefully mixed acrylic paints to mimic or invert the colors of the threads beneath—a deceptively simple process that generates bold, oscillating patterns and striking figure-ground reversals. Bittman considers her work along a lineage of artists working with abstraction in both painting and fiber art histories, such as Agnes Martin, Anni Albers, Bridget Riley, Sheila Hicks, and Sol LeWitt, complicating traditional hierarchies of “fine art” versus “craft.”
By foregoing readymade canvases in favor of her own laboriously hand-loomed fabrics, Bittman calls attention to the materiality of paintings as objects and to the inherent but often overlooked relationship between pictorial image and woven structure. Her art entices the viewer to slow down, look more deeply, and fully experience the pleasures of texture and symmetry at the micro-level of warp and weft.
C O U N T Y is a contemporary art space at 350 South County Road in Palm Beach, Florida. The gallery features a strong and carefully curated exhibition program that promotes important emerging and mid-career contemporary artists. Oscillate is Bittman’s first solo exhibition at C O U N T Y.