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Thomas Robertello Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
Recommendation by Robin Dluzen

Samantha Bittman, ''Emerald,'' 2013, acrylic on hand-woven textile, 15 x 12''.


Continuing through August 3, 2013


Samantha Bittman and Gabriel Pionkowski ride a fine line between complementing each other’s practices and resembling one another in their current two-person exhibition, as both young artists are engaged with painting, textiles, structure and geometric abstraction.


Bittman’s practice is one of construction. In “Emerald,” two tones of flat green paint cover the surface of the painting, accentuating the texture of the hand-woven, op-art patterned, black and white fabric that’s visible only around the shallow edges of the stretcher. Pionkowski’s process, on the other hand, begins with deconstruction. In an “Untitled” work the artist has unraveled the threads of a piece of canvas, painting each thread by hand before weaving and braiding them back together, then reattaching this tapestry to the stretcher bars. In only one or two instances would a viewer momentarily wonder which piece in the show was made by whom. The sameness of the artists’ practices also reveals their nuanced but fundamental differences. 

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