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Ratio 3 is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new watercolors and paintings by New York-based artist James Siena. For his first solo exhibition on the West Coast in a decade, Siena has produced two concurrent bodies of work that reflect a concentrated period of innovation informed by nearly four decades of image-making. 

Taking its title from the formal qualities of its comprising artworks, Phased Resonators & Reciprocating Transitions exemplifies Siena’s unique balance of methodical, systems-based abstraction and biomorphic line quality. While reminiscent of some of the artist’s earlier images in their intricacy and vertiginous compositions, Siena’s newest works are less a reprisal of longstanding motifs than a distillation of his work’s enduring themes. 

Working between the intimate scale of his Quarantine Watercolor group and the expansive surfaces of his largest acrylic-on-linen paintings to date, Siena builds immersive fields of color and line from unexpectedly simple origins. In each work, graphite and charcoal lines proceed concentrically, repeating and gradually amplifying their hand-drawn irregularities as they intersect at varied intervals, forming seemingly complicated, irregular grids. On further viewing, Siena’s complex lattices resolve into intricate interference patterns, rendered as contrasting regions of acrylic paint and bare linen, or as chromatic washes of watercolor pigment. 

Employing an intuitive palette and focused linework within a system of self-imposed constraints, Siena’s latest works are paradoxically among his simplest and most complex. Throughout Phased Resonators & Reciprocating Transitions, patterns, topologies, and harmonies emerge from rudimentary systems, showcasing Siena’s singular ability to reveal the elegance within complexity. 

James Siena (b. 1957, Oceanside, CA) lives and works in New York, NY, where his artwork is represented by PACE. His artwork is in the permanent collections of numerous public institutions including the Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others. This is his first exhibition with Ratio 3.