To Touch with Your Eyes by Samantha Bittman
SEPTEMBER 11 – OCTOBER 11, 2020
Transmitter is pleased to present To Touch with Your Eyes featuring new woven paintings by Brooklyn-based, interdisciplinary artist Samantha Bittman.
Long fascinated with the mathematics of weaving, along with ideas of perception and abstraction, Bittman’s works are optically challenging. While observing the work, various shapes, lines, and patterns that will come into view while others will shift to background.
To Touch with Your Eyes includes all new works made this year, which Bittman started in the studio and completed at home during the Covid pandemic. Bittman’s process starts with weaving brightly colored commercially available and hand-dyed yarns of multi-hued gradations using a 12-harness floor loom, these weavings then become her canvas supports for painting. Once stretched, she uses the underlying patterning as a starting point to work intuitively. Bittman applies carefully matched paints to copy and invert the existing underlying woven pattern, adding yet another level of pictorial and compositional complexity. The resulting woven paintings are visually arresting and transfixing—requiring a moment of reflection, in order to completely digest what is in front of the viewer.
The works in To Touch with Your Eyes compel the viewer to slow down and engage in looking, scanning the surfaces for patterns and irregularities articulated through the repetition of color and form. By combining mediums, Bittman forces viewers to contemplate what it is that they are seeing both formally and materially; is this a painting, weaving, or perhaps even a digital work?
Bittman has said that one of her favorite things about weaving, “…is the relationship between parts to the whole, and the way that the individual threads weave together to create a picture. This way image and structure are one and the same.” These complex works reveal themselves to be multidimensional, what at first glance appears to be part of
the fabric actually turns out to be a painting.
Samantha Bittman is an artist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. She has participated in residency programs at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and Ox-Bow School of Art. In 2012, she received the Artadia Award. She has had solo exhibitions at Ronchini, London, UK; Andrew Rafacz, Chicago, IL; Morgan Lehman, New York, NY; and Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. She has been included in numerous group exhibitions at galleries including David Castillo, Miami, FL; Shane Campbell, Chicago, IL; and Rhona Hoffman, Chicago, IL. Her work has been written about in The New York Times, Wall Street International, and The Washington Post, amongst others.