Composite Paintings — Sam Friedman

Press Release

Composite Paintings — Sam Friedman

Sam Friedman

Untitled, 2023
Acrylic on canvas
84h x 36w in

Library Street Collective is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition with artist Sam Friedman titled Composite Paintings, on view at a temporary space in Los Angeles from February 11th through February 19th, 2023. By examining methodical processes where repetition and self-imposed parameters lay the groundwork for his creations yet permit him the freedom to build each piece instinctively by hand, Friedman explores the formal concerns of paint, tools and surfaces as they relate to the scale of the human body. The exhibition introduces Friedman’s “Composite Paintings,” a body of work in which the artist distills the breadth of his visual vocabulary down to its most essential elements and reassembles them into new configurations that accentuate the limitless possibility of form within his practice.

Friedman cheekily refers to his “Composite Paintings” as “the recomposition of the component elements from the decomposition of the original composition.” In analyzing Friedman’s abstract presentation of natural landscapes, each “Composite Painting” is created of multiple smaller paintings that narrow in on key foundational components of the artist’s comprehensive practice, such as dune grass, a fading sunset, or a pattern representative of bushes. Once the coined “building blocks” are complete—a process Friedman describes to be “laborious yet meditative”—he enters a final experimental phase of arranging the isolated pieces into cohesive ensembles that constitute the final works. It is with a motive to mine the individual elements of the paintings he has been creating for roughly fifteen years, to place them outside of their typical context and repurpose them in unfamiliar ways, that this newfound compositional approach was born.

As Friedman puts it, “there is a world that I think in visually, and it’s built in how I use paint.” Metaphorically, the elements that compose the “Composite Paintings” are characters that exist in this psychological universe. Over the course of Friedman’s life and career, these characters, their spirits materialized through paint, are gradually introduced to his brain through lived experiences—they accumulate, they grow, they form relationships with one another on the canvas and take on lives of their own. Notably, within the exhibited works, Friedman fuses disparate series of work that, until now, have never interacted together within one frame, further demonstrating his ample skill in producing an infinite number of painterly configurations with the same basic tools. Overall, Composite Paintings emphasizes the simple yet impactful foundation upon which Friedman’s oeuvre is established; the works offer the audience a fresh consideration of familiar narratives, and Friedman a deeper understanding of his tools and their functions, an accretion of knowledge that will impact the trajectory of creations to come.

On Tuesday, February 14th, the gallery will be hosting a book signing event with Friedman from 6-8 pm in honor of the release of his first-ever monograph Light, which was produced on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition Light at Library Street Collective (February 27 - April 3, 2021) curated by one of his greatest contemporary influences and mentor, Brian Donnelly (KAWS).

The publication will be released on February 11th, and includes a foreword written by Library Street Collective founder and partner Anthony Curis, essays by Library Street Collective Senior Director Sara Nickleson, friends and collaborators Dan Santoro, Ned Vena, and Sue Kwon, a poem written by Nicolas Atkins, and a conversation between Friedman and lifelong friend and fellow artist Josh Sperling. In addition to the regular run, a limited quantity of special edition copies that include a limited edition screenprint by Friedman will be available.

Sam Friedman: Composite Paintings is on view at ​​1443 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles from February 11th through February 19, 2023 from 12-6PM.

Artwork Images

Sam Friedman — Sam Friedman

Sam Friedman

Untitled, 2023
Acrylic on canvas
48h x 72w in

Sam Friedman — Sam Friedman

Sam Friedman

Untitled, 2023
Acrylic on canvas
72h x 120w in

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