Skip to content

Britton Tolliver

Bend To Play

February 29 - April 11, 2020

Britton Tolliver Climbing the Wall, 2019

Britton Tolliver
Climbing the Wall, 2019
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
​70 x 47 in.

Britton Tolliver Earthquake Makeup, 2018

Britton Tolliver
Earthquake Makeup, 2018
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
​70 x 47 in.

Britton Tolliver New Gods, 2018

Britton Tolliver
New Gods, 2018
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
42.5 x 34.5 in.

Britton Tolliver Sedona, 2018

Britton Tolliver
Sedona, 2018
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
45 x 32 in.

Britton Tolliver Spaghetti Baby, 2018

Britton Tolliver
Spaghetti Baby, 2018
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
55 x 42.5 in.

Britton Tolliver Spaghetti Mirror, 2018

Britton Tolliver
Spaghetti Mirror, 2018
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
30 x 22 in.

Britton Tolliver Earthquake Makeup II, 2019

Britton Tolliver
Earthquake Makeup II, 2019
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
73 x 52.5 in.

Britton Tolliver Four Eyed Muscleman, 2019

Britton Tolliver
Four Eyed Muscleman, 2019
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
​73 x 52.5 in.

Britton Tolliver Ribcage, 2019

Britton Tolliver
Ribcage, 2019
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
​70 x 48 in.

Britton Tolliver X, 2019

Britton Tolliver
X, 2019
Acrylic and mixed media on panel
​70 x 48 in.

Press Release

A life-long devotee to both the formal and psychological properties of abstraction, Britton Tolliver’s painting practice has come to embrace the vacillation between chaos and structure.  The influence of these opposing yet complementary forces can be traced back to the artist’s creative origins—Tolliver made his first artworks in his early twenties while serving time in prison.  In practice, he discovered geometric abstraction to be a powerful tool for liberation and it has been his predominant perceptual filter ever since, allowing him to metaphorically reference the hallucinogenic experiments and subsequent traumas that defined this period of his life, while embracing intuition as an expansive expression of freedom.

The paintings in Bend To Play take Tolliver’s technique of pushing paint through sieve-like grids and applies it to an array of complex biomorphic shapes.  Plateaus of paint slabs are excavated to reveal Richteresque seas of squeegeed abstraction, brushless color fades reminiscent of light and space installations, and glowing lines that meander like graph vectors undone by their own frenetic energy.  These sculptural painting techniques reveal an athleticism mixed with a propensity for problem solving—the paintings recall vacuumed-formed topographical maps with microcosmic paint cliffs and pools teeming with the polymorphic genes of Fetish Finish and 1970s pop culture. Each work in Bend To Play glimpses a journey through multiple realities, finite and infinite.

Britton Tolliver (b. 1976, Kingsport, Tennessee) earned an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and BFA from East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.  He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles; Joshua Liner Gallery, New York; Left Field Galley, San Luis Obispo (with Shara Hughes); Durden and Ray, Los Angeles; HilgerBROTKunsthalle, Vienna; and GOLDEN, Chicago.  Group exhibitions include Painting in Place, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Los Angeles, CA; Steven Bankhead, Britton Tolliver, Torbjörn Vejvi, Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; The Road, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Baker's Dozen, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; and Working Title, Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, NY.

Back To Top