Steuart PittmanOakland, CA
Within my paintings I compose elemental forms and explore the interactions of colors. By reducing a figure/ground system to its core, I am able to enhance the sculptural qualities of each piece. As a result, I think of these works as painted objects as opposed to pictures or images. I hope to achieve an overall feeling or mood with each piece, but I also value the interpretations of others and will continue to see the meaning of these - and any - paintings as something evolving and unfixed.
While I am clearly indebted to art history and a range of geometric/minimal painters, I am increasingly confident about these formal systems redefining themselves as a force in contemporary art. Minimalism no longer has a single "look," and in 2010, any number of artists might cite the reductive impulse as a component of their practice. In a culture that is practically defined by its own excess, it seems reasonable that artists would adopt a counteractive visual language.
I am inspired by the eccentric array of architecture in the East Bay, especially where I live in West Oakland. I find beauty in forgotten, overlooked structures, and my paintings fittingly evoke walls, passageways, and windows. I am less concerned with specific locations and more occupied with how archetypal shapes and forms construct a sense of place. My paintings generally feel anonymous, stark, and quiet, and it is my hope that they reflect my personal longing for harmony.
While I am primarily a painter, my artistic practice also incorporates music, video, photography, and performance elements. Through varying projects I continue to supplement and recontextualize my paintings, and in the coming year I look forward to exploring even more mediums and creative situations.
Steuart Pittman is an artist based in Oakland, California. He received his MFA from Mills College in 2009, where he focused on painting. He has exhibited in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. He has also lectured and performed at several Bay Area art institutions. He was a recipient of the Jay DeFeo Award in 2009 and a SFMOMA SECA Award Nominee in 2010.