Wind, Sand and Stars
February 23 – April 6, 2024
Gallery One
  • Opening Reception
    Friday February 23, 2024 / 5–8pm
  • Exhibition Closes
    Saturday April 6, 2024

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Wind, Sand and Stars, a solo exhibition of new paintings and works on paper from Ish Lipman. The exhibition opens Friday, February 23rd and continues through Saturday, April 6th, 2024. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Taking its title from the 1939 memoir of the same name by the French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars presents a new body of oil paintings and gouaches on paper from Los Angeles-based artist Ish Lipman. Lipman’s bold landscapes and charged imagery depict human figures on dynamic journeys—at times perilous, others awe-inspiring, but always in the midst of dramatic extremes and on the thresholds of the natural world.

Lipman’s paintings depict a complex dialectic between human and nature. Growing up on the West Coast, the artist’s fundamental memories were encoded with this relationship between the structured urban world and the wilds of an often-turbulent nature, right outside his door. Lipman notes, ‘the work is informed by my own experience of growing up in an urban environment around which nature loomed unseen, on the periphery. My early notions of space revolved around these places, which felt manipulated and controlled to create order amidst the unpredictability of the wild surroundings they tried to deny.’

Lipman’s experiences expanded when he went to Santa Cruz, California as a young student. ‘I found my notions of space challenged by a more natural way of being. The chaos and power I saw in wildlife slowly encroached, and began to undo an order that I had previously taken as overpowering. The most visceral way this occurred was in the form of a constant reminder of scale. I was living between a redwood forest and the Pacific Ocean, so every day I was walking in the shadows of tall trees or gazing out at a vast expanse of sea. At first this was unsettling, but the longer I allowed myself to linger in these moments the more a sense of release began to spread throughout my body. It pulled my focus away from internal affairs and recentered my attention on a more collective and compassionate view of the world.’

The palette of Lipman’s paintings has a similarly elemental presence to their thoughtfully-layered narratives. Phthalo greens and blues, sienna, and ochre are employed to create a foundational language that allow his compositions to expand and iterate, while all remaining within the same vast pictorial world. He regularly returns to particular mises-en-scène— rife with peripatetic travelers, serpentine paths, scorched expanse and perilous weather, precarious bridges and steps, and uncanny interior ambulatories. The results are both a reveal of the artist’s own psychological space and an investigation of our complex relationship to landscape and how it shapes our being.

ISH LIPMAN (American, b. 1995, San Francisco, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received his BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2018, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2019, and received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in 2022. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Long Story Short (Paris, France), Harper’s (New York, NY), Praz-Delavallade (Los Angeles, CA), and Sulk (Chicago, IL). Group exhibitions include Make Room LA (Los Angeles, CA), The Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI), The Research House for Asian Art (Chicago, IL), and Cypress College (Cypress, CA). Lipman has exhibited at art fairs in Miami and New York. He will have an upcoming exhibition this summer with Harper’s (East Hampton, NY) and will be attending the 2024 CCA Artist-in-Residence Program. This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery.