James Little: Dots and Slants
February 1 – March 14, 2020
Los Angeles, CA. Louis Stern Fine Arts is pleased to present James Little: Dots and Slants. This New York-based artist’s disciplined craftsmanship is in full force in these commanding recent paintings. Little maintains intimate control over every step in his painting process, formulating his own materials and devising new application methods in a fusion of scientific and artistic practice he likens to “alchemy.” Developed over decades, these time- and labor-intensive techniques imbue Little’s works with an uncommon potency.
The recent Dots take a departure from the tight, crisply arrayed vertical stripes and chevrons that for years have characterized Little’s work. In these paintings, an irregular network of holes is carved into a thick layer of white paint, which the artist mixes himself with pumice and marble dust to create body and texture. These apertures offer glimpses, but never a full comprehension, of a sea of soft color eddying seductively underneath.
The robust diagonal slashes of color that zip across Little’s Slants are executed in raw organic pigment, mixed with an acrylic vehicle and silica based medium to create a luminous matte effect. These surfaces generate a singular vibrancy in the cool greens and zingy purples that dash through Checkered Republic, 2017 and a sumptuous warmth in the glowing oranges and reds of Rosa’s Mantra, 2018.
In 2016, Little was commissioned by the Metropolitan Transit Authority to create public artwork for the Long Island Rail Road’s new Brooklyn-bound platform at Jamaica Station. Little’s winning proposal will consist of an installation of 33 colored glass windows, expected to be unveiled in February of 2020.
Since the 1970s, the work of James Little (b. 1952, Memphis, TN) has been extensively exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. His paintings are included in many public and private collections, including the Newark Museum; Menil Collection; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton; Tennessee State Museum, Nashville; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock; Art in Embassies Program, N’Djamena Collection, Chad, Central Africa; Maatschappij Arti Et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, Holland; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; and Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis.