Razzle Dazzle
September 19 – November 8, 2014
Gallery Two

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Razzle Dazzle, new works by Samantha Bittman in Gallery Two.

Chicago, IL, September 19, 2014- ANDREW RAFACZ begins fall 2014 with Razzle Dazzle, new works by Samantha Bittman. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. It continues through Saturday, November 8, 2014.

Creating loom-woven textiles with painted surfaces, Samantha Bittman simultaneously camouflages her patterns as she highlights their structure with thick acrylic-often revealing new patterns through the semi-masked surface. Referencing the dazzle camouflage technique used on World War I naval ships, the exhibition incorporates bold patterns to confuse, not conceal, throwing texture to the viewer as a distraction from the underlying patterns in the woven surface below.

Adding another layer to her paintings, the artist has installed a site-specific wallpaper that draws attention to itself while dually matching and contrasting the patterns found in the paintings-interlocking the works’ patterns while simultaneously disrupting the synchronicity. Bold prints overlap the corners of the gallery, distorting the viewer’s perception of space and erasing any traditional relationship with the space’s architecture. By flattening the three-dimensional surface through the wallpaper’s bold two-dimensional designs, the artist creates a space that inundates the viewer and renders it difficult to make immediate and precise visual estimations. Crafted entirely from the artist’s previously woven patterns, the wallpaper holds a different relationship to each painting, with some works blending in and others contrasting with their background. Another painting exists in a liminal space, half-concealed within the installed environment, neither fully contrasting or conforming.

Bittman presents a number of bold, black and white works in the exhibition. Her use of color remains limited to bright splashes of primary blues, yellows, and reds. These paintings add another scintillant layer to the otherwise optically charged installation.

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. Bittman also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. She had a recent solo exhibition, Soft Counting, at Greenpoint Terminal, Brooklyn, NY. She has been included in recent group exhibitions at Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY; Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA; David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL; and Paris London Hong Kong, Chicago, IL. Her work has been exhibited at art fairs in Miami, Mexico City, and Chicago. She is included in numerous private and public collections.