Opening tomorrow, September 26th at Johansson Projects is “Formalities”, a two-person exhibition featuring works by Dan Grayber and Steuart Pittman, in which unanticipated structures and familiar, seemingly rigorous forms are born from aesthetic impulse and an ambition towards geometric harmony.
If machines are inventions that ease the daily burdens of human existence, Dan Grayber’s work is the very antithesis of the statement. Grayber creates intricately designed, spring loaded mechanical objects that are solely invented to perform the simple, essential task of sustaining themselves, rather than to appease the needs of its maker. They are self-resolving problems, constantly exerting an invisible energy, although they remain still and pristine to the unsuspecting observer.
Steuart Pittman reacts to stark geometric forms that permeate everyday life, and memorializes the small shapes that normally go unnoticed. Inspired by industrial architectural surroundings and the worn patinas of old buildings, Pittman makes meticulous paintings that are directly informed by his own quick spontaneous drawings. His process results in bold motifs and subtle, unanticipated color relationships. Relishing in the autonomous nature of his practice, he creates his paintings out of a spiritual need.
Whether it be the mechanical limbs that pivot and expand within Grayber’s vessels, or the controlled, layered brushstrokes that build up Pittman’s minimal and sculptural paintings, both artists establish forms of dignified restraint in their work. The title, Formalities, in a sense is a tongue-in-cheek way of describing work in which rigor and precision bring forth unexpectedly satisfying exercises of small personal freedoms﹣work that resonates with optimism and humanity.
This exhibition ends November 14th. For more information visit here.