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Exhibition of new oil paintings by southern California artist Ruth Pastine opens at Brian Gross Fine Art
Ruth Pastine, Witness 3-S6060, (Blue Orange Deep), Witness Series, 2016. Oil on canvas on custom beveled stretcher, 60 x 60 x 3 inches.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Brian Gross Fine Art announces WITNESS, an exhibition of new oil paintings by southern California artist Ruth Pastine. In WITNESS, Pastine builds on her previous work to further explore the perceptual experience of color, light, and space created through nuanced color relationships. On view are eight paintings investigating the inverse combinations of intense saturated colors and their complementary opposites. WITNESS is on view through February 27, 2017.

In creating the paintings in WITNESS, Pastine has meticulously applied the paint to form bands of subtly shifting magentas, greens, oranges and blues across her canvases, and continued to test the limits of her palette. When merged together, the bands of color form a phenomenological experience for the viewer that successfully dematerializes the object into pure color. This effect is heightened by Pastine’s use of custom beveled stretchers, which give the illusion that the painting is floating in front of the wall. She has stated, “When finite [color] systems are in play and in dynamic opposition to the spontaneous process of painting itself, there is the potential for the systems to mediate each other, and for the painting process to transform the materiality of the painted surface into an optically immaterial experience.”

Much like Pastine’s previous series, the works in WITNESS utilize structural forms to reinforce the viewer’s assessment of the colors. By working in a limited color system and creating her work in series, she is able to explore the limits of combining color. The paintings Witness 8 and Witness 9 embody this methodology through their mutually inverse relationship. Witness 8 contains a radiant band of magenta in its center, flanked on either side by bands of intense green and gray. Witness 9 is the opposite, with gray in the middle and bands of magenta along the sides. The seamless transitions between hues in these and all of Pastine’s paintings generate an optical form of color that is “impalpable, intangible—pure, insubstantial aura.”

Ruth Pastine received her B.F.A. from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, and her M.F.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York. She has exhibited widely in the United States and Japan. In 2014, Ruth Pastine had her first museum survey show titled Attraction: 1993–2013 at the Museum of Art & History Lancaster (MOAH), CA, with exhibition catalog essays by Donald Kuspit and Peter Frank. Her works are included in many public, private, and corporate collections, including Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; AXA Art, Cologne, Germany; Brookfield Properties, Ernst & Young Plaza, Los Angeles, CA; Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, CA; Goodwill Industries International, San Francisco, CA; Lakeshore Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA; Lehman Brothers/Townsend Analytics, New York, NY; Qualcomm, San Diego, CA; and UNICEF, New York, NY. This is her sixth solo exhibition with Brian Gross Fine Art.

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