January 26 - March 23, 2019
Traywick Contemporary is pleased to announce Lake, a solo exhibition featuring new paintings by Bay Area artist Steuart Pittman.
Pittman sees painting as an extension of experience. In his practice, this takes shape as meditations on a few core ideas that recur through an ongoing vocabulary of elemental forms. Many of the shapes that populate his work seem to be geometric in origin, with hard edges clearly delineating form from background. However, the visual cues stem from Pittman’s daily life both inside and outside the studio -- “moments where we can experience beauty through fleeting encounters at unexpected times and places.”
Surprising and often playful color choices, flat painting style, and constructed frames are signature elements of Pittman’s unique approach. The distinct frames act as a perimeter that both contains and informs the work, while pointing to painting as object making. Each composition contains deliberately asymmetrical and hand-drawn shapes set against flat backgrounds of color which seem informal but are in fact created from precise layering and subtle surfaces. Object and palette inspirations vary from 50s guitar colors, to California skate and surf culture, to the architecture of his Oakland neighborhood.
The title of the exhibition, “Lake” comes from a painting of the same name Pittman made a decade ago. Referencing his adolescence spent on a lake, he considers the small monochrome panel to be his first painting, and sees the work as a seminal moment that continues to inform his practice. Pittman’s paintings are an invented space of personal “landscapes” into which he invites the viewer. In the artist’s own words, “I hope this body of work will provide a contented space of mind, a refreshing and peaceful pause.”
Steuart Pittman received an MFA from Mills College in 2009 along with the esteemed Jay DeFeo MFA award. Other notable recognition includes the Peter S. Reed Foundation Award in Painting in 2016 as well as nominations for the SFMoMA SECA Award and TOSA Studio Award.
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