NEW YORK, NY.-
The cascade of glistening color that exemplifies Brian Rutenbergs painting is fully present in his exhibition of new work, Saltwater, on view at Forum Gallery
from October 30 December 6, 2014. The 16 oil paintings in this show are a chromatic interpretation of the coastal landscape, a subject that has been the artists principal concern for the last decade. Their embrace of the trees, meadows, waterways and sky forms a kaleidoscopic narrative of nature, a synthesis of landscape and abstraction that defines Brian Rutenbergs work.
Working in bold strokes of rich, thick paint, Rutenberg builds and sculpts his surfaces to achieve rhythmic, faceted passages contrasting with pools of light and dark to evoke the endless variants of the landscape that inspires him. Gestural application gives way to neo-cubist analysis in every painting, making each an independent work as well as a part of a cohesive exhibition.
Rutenbergs careful but always spontaneous process arises from his experiences as a child in the South Carolina of his youth:
long before I knew what an artist was, I would scoop up fistfuls of marsh mud, splat it on the dock under the blazing sun and carefully arrange torn bits of colored construction paper across the muck followed by another handful of mud
the rippled edge of an oyster shell was an ideal tool for skimming off layers, revealing bits of color of varying intensity.
Moved by these early experiences and the memory of the places he visited as a youth and inspired by the landscapes he sees today, Brian Rutenberg paints in his New York studio. With the infinite invention that is Glenn Goulds pianism playing constantly, he creates the bold variations that arise from his training and experience as an artist and his comprehensive knowledge of art history.
Brian Rutenberg (born 1965, Charleston, SC) lives and works in New York City. He is a Fulbright scholar (1997) and a graduate of The College of Charleston and the School of Visual Arts (NY). His paintings are in the permanent collections of museums, including the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA; Nassau County Museum of Art, NY; Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN; Naples Museum of Art, FL; and Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA. Brian Rutenberg has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Butler Institute of American Art, Ohio; the Cress Gallery of Art at University of Tennessee; the Gibbes Museum of Art, South Carolina; the Morris Museum, Georgia; and the Cotuit Center for the Arts, Massachusetts. He has exhibited at galleries from San Francisco to Charlotte, and his work is collected in Florida, Canada, California, New England, Southern States, Texas and Ohio as well as in New York and environs.