About James Sterling Pitt

About James Sterling Pitt

 

James Sterling Pitt’s artistic process is one of exploring and honoring the often abstract and unknown realms of memories and their emotional counterparts. His sculptures, even in their most austere form, allow for intimacy and tenderness while the playful and illustrative forms maintain a sense of gravity.

For many years Pitt’s artistic practice served as an autobiographical image bank, representing particular memories, places, and sensations. Fleeting sightings and experiences were reinterpreted as two and three dimensional reconstructions; standing as surrogates for images lost during momentary, perceptual shifts. Having suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident over ten years ago, this way of working began as a tool to help cope with short-term memory loss and difficulties with language. Through a process of drawing and sculpture, he was able to give form to the less concrete and harder to articulate aspects of the mind, such as something sensed or a fading memory.

  On a Clear Day We Were Lightning , Eli Ridgway, San Francisco, CA

On a Clear Day We Were Lightning, Eli Ridgway, San Francisco, CA

Pitt’s latest sculptures are intuitive, developed in response to their formal precedents, taking cues from each other, and using familiar materials to unexpected ends. While still drawing influence from memories, art historical influences, or any number of lived experiences, Pitt’s new sculptures are ultimately constructed according to instinct where the artist’s history and past work are reinterpreted and absorbed into the forms themselves.

James Sterling Pitt continues to create from modest materials at modest scales. Made primarily from hand-cut wood and acrylic paint, the sculptures have a commonplace, relational quality. Where one surface is clearly legible as layered and cut plywood, other surfaces are coarse, pocked, and stone-like. The works evoke organic materials that have been petrified or fossilized, and geologic materials that have been shaped through accumulation and weathering. On close examination, the sculptures reflect the artist’s hand yet remain fluid and organic, suggesting that despite their handmade construction, each sculpture might be the result of complex phases of growth, erosion, or evolution.

James Sterling Pitt (b. 1977, Warwick, New York) earned his BFA from the University of New Mexico and his MFA from Mills College. Pitt’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in San Francisco, Boston, and Berlin, and group exhibitions throughout the Bay Area and New York. His work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Berkeley Art Museum. Pitt lives and works in Oakland, CA.

Born 1977, Warwick, New York
Lives and Works in Oakland, California

SELECT SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017
After Forms on Forms, Ratio 3, San Francisco, CA
Points West, Et al., San Francisco, CA
Points East, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA

2016
Points., College of Marin, Fine Arts Gallery, Kentfield, CA

2014
Hello Green Cosmos, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA
The University Galleries, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX

2013
The White Peacock Sings, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA

2012
On a Clear Day We Were Lightning, Eli Ridgway, San Francisco, CA

2011
Romer Young Gallery in Berlin, w/ Kirk Stoller, Galerie Axel Obiger, Berlin

2010
it goes as it grows, Romer Young Gallery, San Francisco, CA
The Sea All Around Us, w/ Sean McFarland, Sight School, Oakland, CA
Project Room, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

2009
The On and On, ATA, San Francisco, CA

2000
LiftnoLimbo, John Sommers Gallery, Univ. of NM, Albuquerque, NM

SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018
Marin Collects, College of Marin, Kentfield, CA

2017
Way Bay, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA

2015
Off the Charts, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM
The Brain, Sun Valley Art Center, Sun Valley, ID
Retrospective, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA

2014
Color Shift, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA

2013
Introductions, Philip Slein Gallery, St. Louis, MO
Object Oriented (with Reuben Lorch-Miller, Roza Janiszewska), Royal NoneSuch Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Group Show, Eli Ridgway, San Francisco, CA

2012
Contemporary Watercolor, curated by Veronica Roberts, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY

2011
Living Room, curated by Vanessa Blaikie and Joey Piziali, Parklife, San Francisco, CA
Stacked/Multiplied, curated by Devon Bella and Katie Hood Morgan, Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2010
Front + Center, curated by Vanessa Blaikie, Joey Piziali and Jessica Brier, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
PAPER!AWESOME!, curated by Brion Nuda Rosch, Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA
Hyperspaces, curated by David Kasprzak, Parklife, San Francisco, CA

AWARDS AND ARTIST RESIDENCIES

2014
Kala Art Institute; Artist Fellowship, Berkeley, CA

2010
Djerassi Artist in Residence; Winter Residency, Woodside, CA

2008
Djerassi Artist in Residence; Winter Residency, Woodside, CA

2006
Djerassi Artist Fellowship, Woodside, CA
Djerassi Artist in Residence; April-May, Woodside, CA

2002
Tretethen Merit Award, Mills College, Oakland, CA

2000
Vera Nolan Award, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2017
McQuaid, Cate. “Sending messages in code at Steven Zevitas Gallery” The Boston Globe. February 23.

2015
Smith, Claude. “James Sterling Pitt: The Ritual of Remembering” New American Paintings. September.

2014
Baker, Kenneth. “Pitt at Anglim” San Francisco Chronicle. February.
Quinton, Luke. “Artists Laurie Frick and James Sterling Pitt map the brain in joint exhibit” Austin AmericanStatesman. February 2014.

2013
Allen, Gwen. “James Sterling Pitt”, ARTFORUM. February
McQuaid, Kate. “Low Key Charm”, Boston Globe. November.

2012
Baker, Kenneth. “In Among the Pitts” San Francisco Chronicle. November.
Turner, Chérie Louise. “Nov 2012 Artist Profile, James Sterling Pitt” art ltd. November.
“James Sterling Pitt” New American Paintings, Pacific Coast, Issue #103. December .

2010
Baker, Kenneth. “In Among the Pitts.” San Francisco Chronicle. November.
Chun, Kimberly. “James Sterling Pitt: Ping Pong Gallery Solo Show” San Francisco Chronicle. October.
Scholtz, Zachary Royer. “Front + Center: Weather Streams” Art Practical. January

 
Available Works by James Sterling Pitt

Available Works by James Sterling Pitt