it goes as it grows

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Ping Pong Gallery
it goes as it grows

1240 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
October 29th, 2010 - December 4th, 2010

Potrero District
Tue-Wed by appointment; Thu-Sat 11-5
works on paper, sculpture


…There is a discrete charm in something that is made that allows it to circulate, even though what cannot may have greater charm, like the light in an otherwise blue sky, the twinkle in an eye. How do those circulate? Only by making what cannot be made, what is beyond its own fixity, what is not under control, like thought, place, or action. Something must be made for it to circulate, to happen… - Richard Tuttle

Ping Pong Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition with San Francisco artist James Sterling Pitt. It goes as it grows presents a new series of sculptural abstracts and diagrammatic works on paper that expose the artist’s unending and unfolding “mnemonic chronometer." 1 There will be an opening reception for the artist this FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29th from 6-9PM.

In writing and meditating on the early work of Eva Hesse, Briony Fer expresses wanting ‘to take seriously the idea that you can make something with no end in sight.’ 2 Fer’s hope echoes as much what Hesse thought about her own life as an artist [wanting to "not know what the end is going to be" 3], as it does what James Sterling Pitt thinks about his life as an artist – part “art without end” and part “doing life, consciously.” 4 Elemental and vital to his life and practice, Pitt uses his art as a memory aid or journal to grasp the elusiveness of memory, giving the passage of time a kind of materiality and shape that might otherwise escape him. Provisional, immediate, and raw, the works act as temporal agents linking meridians between the present, past, and future - shepherds guiding the artist’s passage between. By quietly hovering at this interstice, Pitt’s work evades finding any discrete end, each piece merely acting as a personal marker of time and place in the continuum of his life.

Within the continuum of works on view at the gallery are objects that slip between painting and sculpture, and drawing and sculpture. Some are recognizable and take the form of books, albums, or visually annotated lists; others are obscure and unknowable – initially. At first, the encounter with Pitt’s sculptural abstracts might seem like a visual encounter with nothingness. Unusual, indefinable forms, they are without direct reference to any recognizable image - scribbles made physical. The forms first come to the artist in dreams, acting as portals, harbingers that invoke and recall moments. Their realization into physical form is Pitt’s attempt to make what is not under control, like thought, place, or action, come into being. The small sculptural abstracts share a kinship with the early Adaptives of Franz West, the Studio Works of Eva Hesse, the 1960’s small latex works of Louise Bourgeois, and the sculptural works from Cy Twombly’s time in Rome. Curious, tactile and suggestive, the pieces stand for themselves and for the world of knowing that belongs to Pitt. When viewed together, these humble works appear as an inventory of objects, a catalogue raisonné that seems less about offering an exhaustive and coherent narrative for the viewer to access, than about giving space for the artist to shape his void of memory and reconstruct his own interface between dream and reality, consciousness and memory, fragment and totality. Essentially, Pitt creates a user’s guide for himself, a way to ensure his own perpetual self-portrait.

Pitt received his BFA from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in 2000 and his MFA from Mills College in 2003. Pitt’s work has been exhibited nationally at The Lab, ATA Right Window, and Park Life, San Francisco, CA; The Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA; Blankspace, Sight School and 4707 Telegraph, Oakland, CA; The San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, and Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM. James was a recipient of a 2000 Vera Noland Award, a 2002 Trefethen Merit Award, and a 2005 Djerassi Foundation Artist Residency. He also received a 2006 Fellowship Artist Award from the Djerassi Foundation.

For additional information and images, please contact the gallery at 415.550.7483 or email