Ratio 3 is proud to present Ways, an exhibition of new sculptures by James Sterling Pitt.
Since his last solo exhibition with Ratio 3 in 2017, Pitt has moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Santa Fe, New Mexico. In relocating his home and studio to an environment that has influenced his practice for decades, Pitt has expanded his practice to include ceramics in addition to his longstanding use of intricate assemblages of painted wood. Pitt’s new series of sculptures builds upon his prior bodies of work, while embracing new materials to realize novel forms that evoke landscape, architecture, and sensory memory. The resultant artworks debut in two concurrent exhibitions in the Bay Area: Ways, on view at Ratio 3; and JSP JBB, on view at Blunk Space in Point Reyes Station, which presents Pitt’s recent works alongside JB Blunk’s sculptures from the 1970s and 80s.
The sculptures comprising Ways are presented individually atop shelves designed by the artist, and in some instances, placed within apertures cut through the gallery walls. Whether ensconced in portholes, or positioned before the semi-reflective gray backdrops of Pitt’s tableau-like shelves, the sculptures relate to their architectural surroundings, yet also exist at a slight remove; each work inhabits its own space, suggesting multiple distinct senses of scale and place.
Tiled patterns painted in contrasting tones of glaze, clay arches, and panes of translucent colored plexiglass appear throughout the exhibition, evoking the adobe brickwork, structural transoms, and stained glass windows of various architectural styles. Elsewhere in the exhibition, and often within the same artworks, contoured planes and narrow spires of clay allude to mountainous silhouettes and figures amid open landscapes. From one sculpture to the next, the exhibition offers impressions of perceived vistas and inhabited dwellings; taken together, Pitt’s sculptures evoke the interior quietude of the imagined and remembered.
While Ways occupies the entry and main galleries, Ratio 3’s final gallery hosts an exhibition of new oil paintings by Nobuya Hoki and recent ceramic sculptures by Masaomi Yasunaga, two artists living and working in Japan. Presented in collaboration with Nonaka-Hill, Los Angeles and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, this additional exhibition comprises the first two-artist exhibition between Hoki and Yasunaga. Viewed in tandem with Ways, the exhibition offers an international dialogue between the practices of contemporaries working in different traditions within related media.
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James Sterling Pitt (b. 1977, Warwick, NY) earned his BFA from the University of New Mexico and his MFA from Mills College. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, New Mexico, and Berlin, and has most recently exhibited at the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis, MI, and the Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, OR. His work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Blanton Museum; and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Pitt’s work will also be included in a collaborative presentation between Ratio 3 and Nonaka-Hill at FOG Design + Art on view from January 19—22 at the Fort Mason Pavilion in San Francisco. JSP JBB will be on view at Blunk Space from January 14 – February 26, 2023.