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Department of Art – Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Samantha Bittman- “Material Data”

In her paintings on hand-woven textile, Bittman exploits the limitations of the basic floor loom. By designing and executing weave drafts that consist of simple sets of numerically based instructions, she generates woven cloth whereby the architecture of the weave interlacements and the graphics of the cloth are one in the same. Once stretched over traditional painting stretcher bars, the textile patterns, which often become distorted by the act of stretching, direct and dictate the painted surface. These moves are both intuitive and logical. In several works, the weave graphics are replicated precisely in paint, negating the materiality of the textile in favor of the pictorial aspects of the cloth. In other instances, selectively painted areas merge with their underlying textile support, further flattening the picture plane and perceptually disorienting the viewer. 

Samantha Bittman lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. She received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010 and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. Recent solo exhibitions include Razzle Dazzle at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL; Number Cruncher at Longhouse Projects, New York, NY; and Soft Counting, at Greenpoint Terminal, Brooklyn, NY. Bittman has been included in recent group exhibitions at Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY; David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL; Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA; and Paris London Hong Kong, Chicago, IL. She is currently on faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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