Opening reception: Saturday, January 19, 6 – 8PM

Ratio 3 is pleased to announce New Material, an exhibition of new sculptural artworks from three San Francisco Bay Area artists. Featuring objects at varied scales by James Sterling Pitt, sculptural constructions by Ben Peterson, and intricate drawings and minimal sculptures by Mitzi Pederson, New Material highlights various dialogues between recent works from each of its three artists.

Mitzi Pederson presents a series of monochromatic pencil drawings that relate closely to her sculptural practice. Where Pederson's sculptures frequently form gestures from the inherent and unexpected qualities of their materials, her works on paper deemphasize physical material, instead evoking imagined spaces, passages, and motion. By varying the density and direction of clustered lines, Pederson’s drawings never fully resolve into an image, instead remaining fluid and suggesting space, weight, and texture. Pederson also debuts several sculptures made from thin black rope that interact with the gallery’s architecture, bridging walls to floor, and distending into the viewer’s space, suggesting imagined barriers or masses.

James Sterling Pitt presents sculptures of painted wood displayed atop pedestals and shelves, or mounted to the wall. These new artworks, like his earlier sculptures, originate from drawings and impressions of memory, while introducing layered colors, complex interior spaces, and textures varying from the reflective sheen of alkyd paints to the stone-like finish of modified wood. Guided by intuitive decisions informed by a decade of evolving forms and surfaces, Pitt’s latest sculptures provide a physical account of their making and a record of bodily memory.

Ben Peterson’s newest sculptures introduce varied plaster and encaustic finishes, elaborating on the vocabulary of his past ceramic works, which were painted to appear weathered and patinated. By situating his recent ceramic works on displays built variously from reclaimed wood, modified furniture, and plaster surfaces, Peterson further complicates his work’s references to modernism, design, and architecture. The sculptures reflect and incorporate their display structures, existing equally as architectural models and cultural relics.

New Material is a discourse between sculptures assembled from varied media and derived from disparate approaches. Whether constructed from reclaimed objects, built through gradual layering and reworking, or conjured from drawn or draped lines, the artworks comprising the exhibition suggest an expanded definition of sculptural media, where concept and matter are of equal substance. Throughout New Material, physicality invites interpretation, and the imagined and remembered are made physical.