The lines of a dancer’s body are often Gitterman’s source material. With that as inspiration, his works set out to capture a fleeting moment of arrested motion in bronze, cooper or aluminum.
His choice of material inevitably informs the finished product as the patina, color and even the thickness of various metals contribute to how the action is captured and translated.
Viewing Gitterman’s realistic nudes in proximity with his abstractions offer a fascinating insight into his creative process. As one moves between them, similarities of curves and repetition of gesture begin to emerge. Suddenly seemingly purely abstract pieces become imbued with human qualities.
Many of the artist’s bronzes are remarkably complex, with fold bending over fold, painted color meeting burnished surface, and edges inviting the viewer deeper into the heart of the piece. As the shapes evolve, so do the patinas and surfaces. Repose is transformed into possibility. Often when viewing a number of similar works in series, a single movement suddenly seems to reveal its full range of motion as the eye moves from one piece to the next.
Most recently, Joe has been working with polished stainless steel. The inherent stark contrasts available to him by mixing mirrored surface with dazzling color have led him to minimize the forms themselves, lest the exposition of the movement be drowned out by too much visual noise. The resultant works are striking in both their simplicity and their dazzling surfaces.
Line, surface, form: these are the elements that form the vocabulary of Gitterman’s work. His language is an abstraction of gesture frozen in mid-flight. But the finished works speak to us in the graceful language of dance.— Northwest CT Arts Council April 2011