Morgan Lehman is pleased to present Samantha Bittman’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. In five new works, the artist continues her practice of weaving complex textiles on a loom and painting selected portions of their surfaces. The effect is a simultaneous obfuscation of Bittman’s initial compositions as she highlights their structure with acrylic paint, revealing new patterns through the masked or semi-masked surfaces. Her works remain indebted to a textile-making tradition while remaining 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 how the final work will look when weaving the painting’s support on her loom. Starting with individual threads and bound by the parameters and limitations of the loom itself, Bittman generates woven structures that yield visually patterned compositions. These underlying systems ultimately inform her decision-making during the painting process. In this sense, the act of weaving becomes inextricably bound to the act of painting that follows. Similarly, the practice of manifestation and concealment, seemingly opposing forces, make up a dialectical approach that produces her unique results.
Samantha Bittman received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. She has participated in residency programs at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and Ox-Bow School of Art. In 2012 she was a recipient of the Artadia Art Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Picture Structure at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL; Number Cruncher at Longhouse Projects, New York, NY; and Soft Counting, at Greenpoint Terminal, Brooklyn, NY. She has been included in recent group exhibitions at Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY; David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL; Shane Campbell Gallery; and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL. She is currently on the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a participant in the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in Brooklyn, NY.