Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1972, Victoria Gitman immigrated to the United States in 1987. In 1996, she graduated from Florida International University with a BFA in Painting and a BA in Humanities. She was also a fellow at the Yale Summer School of Art.
Victoria Gitman’s work intertwines the experiences of vision and touch, exploring the tactile pull inherent to painting and the circuits of desire it generates. In her representations of vintage costume jewelry, her depictions of beaded purses and fur handbags, and in her current works based on vintage sequined garments, the artist has focused on the rich material textures of these objects. Painting bead by bead and hair by hair from close, direct observation, Gitman creates surfaces that are soft and seductive, yet austere in their precision. Many of the works feature abstract patterns reminiscent of early and mid-twentieth century painterly traditions. Evoking modernist compositional techniques, Gitman’s paintings are resolutely frontal, with the imagery in her recent works extending nearly edge to edge. The works create an alignment between the represented objects and the picture plane, pointing to the implicit identification of the painting’s surface as feminine and bringing to the fore the traditionally gendered structure of the painting-viewer relationship.
With their intimate scale and fine facture, Gitman’s paintings elicit very close viewing, an almost touching with the eyes. The distance between beholder and picture plane is narrowed to the smallest of measures and the condensed space between them, charged with a palpable desire, becomes part of the work. The close, slow interaction that results between viewer and painting, the almost contact between them, thus emerges as an integral element of her oeuvre.
Solo exhibitions of Gitman’s work have been held at Daniel Weinberg Gallery (2004, 2006, 2009, Los Angeles), David Nolan Gallery (2006, 2011, New York), Tomio Koyama Gallery (2014, Tokyo), Garth Greenan Gallery (2015, 2018, New York), and Francois Ghebaly Gallery (Los Angeles, 2020, 2022). In 2005, the Bass Museum, Miami mounted On Display, her first museum exhibition. Three years later, Looking Closely, a solo exhibition of her paintings and drawings, opened at the Las Vegas Art Museum. In 2015, the Pérez Art Museum Miami presented Victoria Gitman: Desiring Eye, a mid-career survey of her work.
Gitman’s work is featured in the collections of many museums, including: the Columbus Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami; the Herbert H. Johnson Art Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Museum of Modern Art; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; the Portland Art Museum; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.