Andrew Huffman: Places and Spaces
Through the process of painting, I'm constantly juggling an intuitive balance of intricate additive information orchestrated amongst functioning negative space.
Places and Spaces presents the abstract paintings of Andrew Huffman. The title of the exhibition calls attention to the artist’s pursuit of a new direction in Hard Edge painting by seeking to imbue a genius loci into the formal geometric language of the movement. Places and Spaces features a selection of new and recent medium format paintings that seek to encapsulate the sensibilities of specific landscapes that the artist has explored, transforming states of being and feeling into cathartic optical objects. Building on the language of precisely positioned sharp edged color and predetermined sets of shapes arranged with an economy of means, Huffman pursues creating dynamic pattern systems, where conditions of instability foster new adaptations.
Employing a pallet of high-key saturated colors in conjunction with cool greys and whites, Huffman’s paintings vibrate optically and spatially drawing equally from Supergraphics, Hard Edge and Optical art traditions of the West Coast. His compositions probe the visceral possibilities of positive and negative spaces on the surface of the canvas starting with graphite on the raw canvas and then developed in certain areas with subsequent layers of clear gesso set apart from other areas saturated with rich layers of color. He states, “I am fascinated with the ways pattern coupled with color can elicit directional movement and evoke visual harmonies and connections.” He seeks to dynamically engage the eye and mind of the viewer with the negative spaces being equally important and acting like windows into the development of the trajectory of the works. They allude to the enigmatic spaces and places of the mind and memory, and are in his words, “a call and response similar to a musician willing to listen and later accompany through improvisation.”
Huffman’s methodical paintings have a distinct sculptural presence. Not only are the painting’s surface plane projected forward off the wall surface creating an offset shadow along the bottom and sides, but the artist also continues and expands his painting’s compositions onto the deep edges of his panels. Challenging the objectives of formal purity and flatness inherent in historical Hard-Edge painting, Huffman creates dimensional paintings that engage space and resonate with the complex and hybrid nature of contemporary culture. Huffman states, “I want my paintings to reference painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation simultaneously through their physical form and visual depictions.”
Investigating patterns and color metaphorically, Huffman draws inspiration from locations he travels to explore. In selecting the shapes of geometric forms and the exact chroma of the colors for his compositions, he seeks to evoke elements in nature and the imagination, and in turn creating physical representations of the enigmatic psychological states of seeing, feeling, and thinking. The titles of his paintings often refer to specific places or the flora found in them and posit with the viewer that the works are landscapes of a sort. Both literal, symbolic, highly abstracted, and deeply personal, his works are in a way like distillations or like puzzles that challenge the viewer to engage in them. As Huffman states, “through the process of painting, I'm constantly juggling an intuitive balance of intricate additive information orchestrated amongst functioning negative space."
Representing the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work with the gallery, Spaces and Places presents a selection of the artist’s work created over the past four years. The exhibition is accompanied by a concurrent group exhibition entitled Sweets & Treats that features a compendium of works drawn from the gallery's roster of artists, the gallery's Inglewood neighborhood and beyond.
Both exhibitions will debut as part of the return of Inglewood Open Studios (IOS) which highlights the city’s artists and creatives featuring self-guided tours of artist studios, art galleries, arts organizations and other creative spaces and takes place on both Saturday, November 11 and Sunday, November 12 from 12 to 5 PM. The community wide nonprofit festival helps support the arts and culture of the community it serves and the IOS art walk is free to the public. For more information about the event, please visit inglewoodopenstudios.org.
ANDREW HUFFMAN PLACES AND SPACES
Edward Cella Art+Architecture @ Himalaya Club
1109 N. La Brea Ave.
Inglewood, CA 90302
On View Saturday, November 11 – December 22, 2023
Thursday through Saturday 11 am to 5 pm.
And by appointment
Saturday, November 11, 2023 | Noon to 6 PM
Talk with the Artist at 3 PM
Held in conjunction with Inglewood Open Studios
November 11 and 12 from Noon to 5 PM