Andrew Rafacz Gallery
Chicago, IL

Samantha Bittman, Caroline Wells Chandler, Wendy White

In the window:
Robert Burnier, Lip To My Ear

March 8 - 31

Opening Reception March 9, 7-10pm

ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce our temporary expansion to New York City’s Lower East Side as part of VACATION, a new gallery initiative spearheaded by Lauren Licata and Anička Vrána of R/SF Projects, San Francisco, with two new, dynamic exhibitions. VACATION is located at 24A Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002.

New York, NY, March 8, 2018– ANDREW RAFACZ @ VACATION presents Samantha Bittman, Caroline Wells Chandler, Wendy White, an eponymously titled exhibition of new paintings and textiles by three New York-based artists, in the main gallery. We also present Lip to My Ear, a new solo exhibition in the gallery’s front window vitrines by Chicago-based sculptor Robert Burnier. The exhibitions continue through Saturday, March 31, 2018. We will have a reception for the artists Friday, March 9th, 7 to 10pm. We will maintain regular hours of operation Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 7pm.

Grounded in weaving tradition and painting language, Samantha Bittman creates her own vocabulary within illusory visuals and pattern structure. Creating loom-woven textiles bound by mathematics, she rearticulates their immediate structure by layering acrylic paint over the surface. The resultant compositions function in between a two and three-dimensional space, distorting the viewer’s perception. Oscillating between handcrafted and hand-painted surfaces, her works speak to structure and pattern within optically charged, painterly compositions.

Caroline Wells Chandler creates hand-crocheted characters that represent the spectrum of gender non-conforming bodies. His works, bright and colorful, joyfully subvert the figure and its parts. Chandler’s use of crochet references the feminist craft tradition of the 1970s and its firm re-contextualization of practices labeled as “women’s craft.” Chandler proposes a new language of figuration that challenges traditional portrayals of the body. His jubilant characters inhabit a new world, or “Queertopia,” where a spectrum of bodies and joy reigns.

Wendy White’s painting practice investigates culture, iconography, and materiality. White’s newest paintings are the boldest and most expressive to date, utilizing found jeans as a primary material in developing her compositions. Using found denim as a culturally charged material, she deconstructs old jeans to create collaged elements within her paintings. White examines “jean culture” as a symbol of masculinity within American society. These painterly works operate as charged objects within their own particular history.

These works collectively challenge material hierarchy by utilizing materials symbolic of time and culture. Together, Bittman, Chandler, and White disrupt traditional painting by establishing their own strong vocabularies. Forming a definitive sense of color, texture, and content, these artists embody the possibilities in contemporary painting during a divisive time.

In the window vitrines:

Robert Burnier’s seemingly delicate, folded wall sculptures investigate systems and structures at points of confluence, contradiction, and collapse. Beginning with a thin sheet of aluminum, he folds the flat plane into a composition that captures movement, structure, equilibrium and disorder. The resultant forms are painted, transforming their immediate material interpretation into something else, all the while considering color as a conceptual language.

With this exhibition, the artist opens up his investigation of color language to other modalities and time periods. He continues to reference early Renaissance Sienese painting while also introducing a specific color scape of the 1980s. Basing the work largely in both, his newest palette is partially sourced from an emblematic set of advertisements featuring “arch" model Kim Alexis, where her surroundings have informed her carefully calibrated image. By lifting the colors away from those specific depictions, Burnier transforms and frees them from the demands they are meant to make of us.

SAMANTHA BITTMAN (American, b. 1982) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Bittman received her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 and her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. She has had recent solo exhibitions Ronchini (London, UK), Morgan Lehman Gallery (New York, NY), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco, CA), David B. Smith Gallery (Denver, CO), and Johansson Projects (Oakland, CA). Recent group exhibitions include Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design (Toyama, Japan), Dimensions Variable (Miami, FL), Morgan Lehman Gallery (New York, NY), Joshua Liner Gallery (New York, NY), Shane Campbell Gallery (Chicago, IL), and Tracy Williams Ltd. (New York, NY). She is a recipient of the 2018 Joseph and Anni Albers Foundation residency award, and the 2016 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program award. Bittman has been exhibited widely at art fairs in Chicago, Miami, Mexico City, and Copenhagen. She is included in numerous private and public collections.

CAROLINE WELLS CHANDLER (American, b. 1985) lives and works in Queens, NY. He received his BFA from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) in 2007 and his MFA from Yale University in 2011. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), Lord Ludd (Philadelphia, PA), Roberto Paradise (San Juan, PR), Art League Houston (Houston, TX), and Field Projects (New York, NY). Recent group exhibitions include Johannes Vogt (New York, NY), Dio Horia (Mykonos, Greece), MRS. (Maspeth, NY), Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY), Left Field (San Luis Obispo, CA), 11R (New York, NY), The Hole (New York, NY), Brand New Gallery (Milan, Italy), and Eric Firestone Gallery (East Hampton, NY). He will have a solo exhibition at Brand New Gallery, Milan, in 2018. Chandler has been exhibited widely at art fairs in New York, Mexico City, Brussels and Cologne. His work is included in numerous private and public collections.

WENDY WHITE (American, b. 1971) lives and works in New York City. She received her M.F.A. from Rutgers University in 2003. Wendy White has had solo exhibitions at Gallery 1600, SCAD (Atlanta, GA), Van Horn (Düsseldorf, Germany), Eric Firestone Loft (New York, NY), David Castillo Gallery (Miami, FL), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), Leo Koenig (New York, NY), and Galeria Moriarty (Madrid, Spain). She has had two person exhitbions with Brian Calvin at Cabinet (Milan, Spain), and Justin Adian at CAPITAL (San Francisco, CA). Recent group exhibitions include Mindy Solomon Gallery (Miami, FL), The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma (Gunma, Japan), Johannes Vogt (East Hampton, NY), Shulamit Nazarian (Los Angeles, CA), Halsey McKay Gallery (East Hampton, NY), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), Richard Heller Gallery (Santa Monica, CA), and Eric Firestone Gallery (East Hampton, NY). White will be part of The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art, at the Perez Art Museum Miami, opening this April. She will have solo exhibitions at David Castillo (Miami, FL), Hidari Zingaro (Tokyo, Japan), and Andrew Rafacz (Chicago, IL) in 2018. White has been exhibited widely at art fairs in New York, Chicago, Miami, and Madrid. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections.

ROBERT BURNIER (American, b. 1969) lives and works in Chicago. He received his MFA from the School of the Art in 2016. He also holds a BS in Computer Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (1991). He has had recent solo exhibitions at David B. Smith Gallery (Denver, CO), The Arts Club of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), and Elastic Arts (Chicago, IL). Recent group exhibitions include The Franklin (Chicago, IL), Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (Chicago, IL), Mana Contemporary (Chicago, IL), Art Academy of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH), Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, IL), Chicago Urban Art Society (Chicago, IL), and Gallery 400 (Chicago, IL). His work has been exhibited in solo and curated presentations at art fairs in Chicago, Miami, New York, Mexico City, and Copenhagen. He is included in numerous public and private collections.