Formalities featuring Dan Grayber + Steuart Pittman
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 intricate mechanical objects that are designed solely to sustain 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 also reacts to stark geometric forms that permeate everyday life. Inspired by industrial architectural surroundings and the worn patinas of old buildings, Pittman's meticulous paintings memorialize the small shapes that normally go unnoticed. Relishing in the autonomous nature of his practice, he makes his paintings almost out of a spiritual need. His process results in bold motifs and subtle, unanticipated color relationships.
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.
Show Runs September 26, 2013 - November 14, 2013
Reception: Friday, November 1, 5-8pm
Johansson Projects is a contemporary art gallery that functions as a curatorial laboratory, creating exhibitions that pair established and internationally-recognized artists with up-and-coming locals. Its moss ceiling by Misako Inaoka and unique architecture allows for innovative exhibitions in a fully immersive viewing environment. With no show confined purely to gallery walls it prompts viewers to actively engage with artists who explore the mysteries embedded in modernity often using unorthodox materials and methods. Johansson Projects is a locus for curators, collectors, and artists to connect and engage in dialogue with the larger art community both regionally and nationally.
2300 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612
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