Adams and Ollman is pleased to present a group exhibition as part of The Pit Presents series. The exhibition will include paintings by Katherine Bradford, Ryan McLaughlin, and Todd Norsten as well as works on paper by James Castle and ceramic sculptures by Dino Matt and Jeffry Mitchell. The exhibition will open with a reception on September 8 and remain on view at The Pit in Los Angeles through October 19.
The figures in Katherine Bradford’s paintings emerge from and are informed by their surroundings—a body of water, the night sky, or a field of color populated with abstract shapes and forms. Against this undefined vastness that Bradford so skillfully creates, the artist’s subjects assert themselves as places of imagination or introspection, as well as sites to consider politics, sexuality, and sometimes very simply, the nature of paint. Deftly employing color and form, Bradford offers the viewer bits of information—pieces of narrative, subjects, and feelings—to reorder and rework into new meanings.
Jeffry Mitchell’s ceramic works reflect upon tensions between surface and depth, figuration and abstraction, and legibility and opacity. Enveloped by milky or golden glazes, his masterful stoneware sculptures are blanketed with flowers, figures, and various flourishes that overwhelm and overtake each structure. Familiar patterns and images camouflage and obscure codified details such as fingers, holes, and bits of language as they build meaning that is personal, contradictory, and subversive.
Ryan McLaughlin paints and stencils fragments of letters, words, and symbols onto his canvases, often referencing found text from advertisements or signs. Toggling between subjective gestures and common signifiers with more fixed meanings, McLaughlin’s disparate and decontextualized marks combine in a space that allows for multiple readings and understandings.
A self-taught artist, James Castle created an extraordinary body of work that includes drawings of landscapes and interiors and three-dimensional constructions, along with drawn systems of invented language, signs, and symbols, three examples of which will be on view in the exhibition.
Continuing explorations of language, Todd Norsten transforms vernacular images—from billboards, hand-lettered signs, and bathroom graffiti—into meditations on the universal impulse to make art. Removed from their original contexts, snippets of words, shapes, and colors become surprising, poetic, and sometimes absurd configurations.
Dino Matt creates hand-built ceramic sculptures, each a congregation of hundreds of gestures or fragments of stoneware. While the sculptures have an archaeological aesthetic, as if pieced together from excavated pottery shards, the works are also reminiscent of brushwork in an abstract painting or assemblage, where tangled parts resolve into an expressionist composition.
The Pit Presents hosts galleries from other cities in a series of residencies and gallery exchanges that coincide with The Pit's exhibition schedule. These exhibitions give galleries from other cities exposure in Los Angeles and build community with artists and galleries beyond the region.