Ronchini Gallery is pleased to present the first UK solo exhibition of American artist Samantha Bittman. The exhibition will feature twelve new wall based works and one site-specific mural.
Bittman’s practice developed from her fascination of weaving and the instinctive relationship between pictorial image and woven structure. Bound by the physical parameters of her 12-harness floor loom, she weaves, by hand, a graphically driven pattern, which is then stretched over a traditional wooden frame before having acrylic paint embedded onto each thread. Using the woven guidelines, she takes the graphical complexity one step further by carefully matching the colour of the paint to each individual strand. Inverting the pattern of the textile, she merges thread and paint to create an optical illusion of shape, line and pattern.
The act of painting and stretching within the traditional frame engages with the discourse of the history of painting. She creates a fixed picture by cutting the potentially endless repetition of her material, while stopping the gestural motion of working the loom and cropping the digital illusion to conceive a body of work that exists in between the realms of weaving and painting.
Moving further into geometrical design, Point Twill (Figure 130) is a graphical homage to one of her favourite weave patterns from the instructional book Point Twill with Colour-and-Weave, that she transforms into a contemporary context. Woven fabric is normally seen as a small-scale, hand-made production; this optical geometric mural hopes to celebrate the possibilities of weaving and shift its materiality from cloth to pure graphics.
Bittman conscientiously and proudly creates this meticulous and considered work taking reference from Annie Albers and Sheila Hicks as well as: Bridget Riley, Frank Stella and Agnes Martin. Aiming to stimulate the viewers’ visual perception and pattern recognition facilities as well as a self-awareness of our own consciousness, she asks us the question “How much do we really assimilate everyday?” Her intention is to slow the mind down, whilst creating a consuming experience. She wants to reveal visual phenomena without trickery, using basic shapes, symmetrical layouts, and pared-down colour palettes.