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Andrew Huffman's first New York solo exhibition opens at David Richard Gallery
Andrew Huffman, Frisbee with Luna (diptych), 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 60 " (two canvases each 30 x 30”) © Andrew Huffman, Courtesy David Richard Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- David Richard Gallery is presenting Andrew Huffman’s first solo exhibition in New York City and his second solo with the gallery. The presentation includes 10 new canvases organized as 4 single paintings and 3 diptychs. The sizes of the artworks range from 30 x 30 inches up to 60 x 60 inches square and a couple measuring 30 x 60 inches in horizontal formats. This is a debut of not only diptych canvases, but also all new compositions that depart from his familiar woven lattice format. These new paintings are based on pentagonal tessellations where the pentagon shapes are abstracted and assembled in rigorous grid-like repeating patterns as well as tessellated to generate asymmetric compositions. Huffman has cleverly leveraged the asymmetry and combined this feature within the diptych compositions. Each panel has an asymmetric arrangement of shapes. However, the pair of paintings within a diptych are mirrored compositionally, but not with respect to the specific arrangement of colors in each. Thus, at first glance, each canvas singly as well as the diptych, reads as asymmetric compositions and in a narrative fashion. Ignoring the color placement in each canvas and looking only at the arrangement of the internal shapes in each diptych, the overall structures are symmetrical. Therefore, all remains well in the universe of geometry and pattern painting.

This new series is a natural evolution for Andrew Huffman. He wanted to imbue his paintings with more of the elements that influence his artwork and career on a daily basis, such as music, his family and playing with his dog, Luna after whom he named one of the new diptych paintings, “Frisbee With Luna”, 2020. As stated above, his prior “Modulated” series was based on overlapping lattice structures and titled with “Modulated” followed by a number that represented the number of distinct colors in that particular composition. Huffman noted he “was investigating a lattice structure for most of those works and probing the possibilities of how color and structure could lead to content and exploring various other concepts as well as using content to alter and abstract. I was exploring a sentimental beaded necklace I gave to my sister before she moved to Berlin, Germany, for instance, before I conceptualized the lattice weave paintings.”

Huffman continues in this new series to leverage his understanding of color theory and color adjacency and use of hard edge geometric shapes painted with meticulous precision and detail to create figure and ground relationships and sometimes dizzying patterns that are trippy and always jaw-dropping. However, he wanted to push the boundaries of the figure and ground even further to create more depth and alter perceptions. Huffman commented that “space exploration as a whole is extremely important to my work and conceptualizing it, similar to a landscape with atmospheric perspective. I want to be surprised by the end results of the paintings so they feel alive when I am working them through.”

The inclusion of music was inevitable given Huffman’s passion for music, but also the shared structure between music with its lyrical rhythms and repeating refrains and his highly structured and patterned compositions. While he liked the nonobjective titles of the “Modulated” series, he felt they were a bit clinical and sterile, the titles became an opportunity to infuse content in terms of the inspiration for a piece and a way to bring music to the forefront of his studio practice. He said, “with the current body of paintings, I want the titles to be more whimsical and to reference music and also utilize titles that would elicit something of a song title while giving some bit of a setting or theme for the viewer to navigate. These titles all reference the 7 notes utilized in music (abcdefg) and read as though they are a song title taken from a kid-like psychedelic concept album of the 60's or 70's. The structure and forms of this body of work has intuitively evolved through the process of abstracting a pentagonal tessellation and seeing how this pattern can perform in the context of various paintings.” Elaborating on the titles, he also stated that, “Sometimes the titles reference the movements in the painting and in music such as “(A) Ascending Swimming Hole”, or “(D) Descending Datura”.”

Some of the “content” that Huffman speaks of is very clear in the geometry and colors of the paintings as he explains, “themes of camouflage to prevent danger and disguise have been at work along with thinking about certain times of day and lighting to evoke the hues.” He is also interested in making the compositions more dynamic and bringing music into them in a more direct way as he lays out his strategy for where this new series will evolve, “I am also currently investigating ways that pattern along with color can elicit both directional movement and read as visual chords, rhythms, and harmonies and what this means in the context of my art.”

A spirited, highly motivated and talented artist, Huffman currently has on view at the Denver Art Museum a site-specific, interactive multi-media installation with internal and external elements. He completed a two-year artist and residency program at Redline in Denver, Colorado (2016-2018). In April, 2018 an installation that he conceived and curated, “Locus Point”, was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. His exhibitions in the US have mostly been in the Midwest. Internationally, his artworks have been exhibited at the Neurotitan Gallery in Berlin, Germany, and he has a mural exhibited in Old Dali City, in Yunnan, China. Huffman received his BFA in painting and printmaking in 2008 from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, as well an MFA in painting with honors in 2012 from the University of Kansas. While completing his MFA, he taught undergraduate courses in drawing, painting and art concepts. He completed an eight-month-long artist residency in 2009 at the Chop Chop Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, where he also had a collaborative dual solo show with his older sister, artist Rachael Huffman, entitled, Space’n’Digestion. Born in 1986 in Newton, Kansas, Huffman is the youngest of five creative children and was reared in the historic city of Lawrence, Kansas.

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