Ratio 3 is pleased to announce Forms on Forms, a solo exhibition of new artworks by James Sterling Pitt. Continuing his work in wood and paint, Pitt has developed a series of sculptures that depart formally and materially from earlier works. Where his previous works were autobiographical, representing particular memories, places, and sensations, Pitt’s latest sculptures are intuitive, developed in response to their formal precedents, taking cues from each other, and using familiar materials to unexpected ends.
Pitt’s sculptures are intimate in scale, and varied in texture and color. Where one surface is clearly legible as layered and cut plywood, other surfaces are coarse, pocked, and stonelike. Through their material ambiguity and selectively exaggerated color, each sculpture embodies multiple gestures; even the most austere forms allow for intimacy and tenderness, while the playful and illustrative forms maintain a sense of gravity.
The works comprising Forms on Forms evoke organic materials that have been petrified or fossilized, and geologic materials that have been shaped through accumulation and weathering. On close examination, the sculptures reflect the artist’s hand yet remain fluid and organic, suggesting that despite their handmade construction, each sculpture might be the result of complex phases of growth, erosion, or evolution.
While still drawing influence from memories, art historical influences, or any number of lived experiences, Pitt’s new sculptures are ultimately constructed according to instinct. Consisting of over twenty new objects displayed atop polished surfaces, and accompanied by a suite of wall-mounted works that bridge Pitt’s sculpture with his foundation in painting, Forms on Forms marks a new phase in Pitt’s practice, where the artist’s history and past work are reinterpreted and absorbed into the forms themselves.
James Sterling Pitt (b. 1977, Warwick, New York) earned his BFA from the University of New Mexico and his MFA from Mills College. Pitt’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in San Francisco, Boston, and Berlin, and group exhibitions throughout the Bay Area and New York. His work is in the permanent collections of The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Berkeley Art Museum. Pitt lives and works in Oakland, CA. This is his first exhibition with Ratio 3.