Picture Structure
September 17 – October 22, 2016
Gallery One

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Picture Structure, a solo exhibition by Samantha Bittman in Gallery One.

Chicago, IL, September 17, 2016- ANDREW RAFACZ presents Picture Structure, a solo exhibition of paintings by Samantha Bittman. The exhibition continues through Saturday, October 22, 2016.

Samantha Bittman continues her practice of weaving complex textiles on a loom and painting parts or the whole of their surfaces, simultaneously obfuscating her initial compositions as she highlights their structure with a rich, bright palette of acrylic paint-often revealing new patterns through the masked or semi-masked surface. Her works remain indebted to a textile-making tradition while also being decidedly contemporary, referencing Op Art, Color Field painting and 20th century abstraction.

Bittman’s approach is a multi-step process in which she must be mindful of the final work when weaving the painting’s support on her loom. Starting with individual threads and bound by the parameters and limitations of the loom itself, she generates woven structures that yield visually patterned compositions. These ultimately inform her decision making during the painting process. The act of weaving becomes inextricably bound to the act of painting that follows. Similarly, the practice of manifestation and concealment, seemingly opposing forces, are part of a dialectical approach that produces her unique results.

For this exhibition, the artist has scaled up her works while retaining the intimacy of her previous output. While working larger, she has continued to develop the intricacy and delicacy of her weave, employing a number of different patterns and directional shifts. The structures of these new works have more complexity and bandwidth of color in both textile and paint. Bittman has also begun to explore more contrasting colors within a single painting, creating works that are both subtle and jarring in their surfaces.

The gallery has published a catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Eschewing any supplemental text for a purely visual dialogue of reference points and fully realized works, it gives the viewer further insight into Bittman’s unique eye and conception of the perceivable world.

SAMANTHA BITTMAN (American, b. 1982) lives and works in Chicago, IL. Bittman received her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 and her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. Recent solo exhibitions include Pattern Structures, David B. Smith Gallery, Denver, CO; Material Data at Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA; Razzle Dazzle at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Soft Counting, at Greenpoint Terminal, Brooklyn, NY. Selected group exhibitions include Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL; Tracy Williams Ltd., New York, NY; and David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL. She is a recipient of the 2016 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program award. Bittman has been exhibited widely at art fairs in Chicago, Miami, Mexico City, and Copenhagen. She is included in numerous private and public collections. This is her second exhibition with the gallery.