Ruth Pastine: Present Fugitive, Gallery Sonja Roesch, Houston, TX

Work by Ruth Pastine

November 6 – December 31, 2010

Gallery Sonja Roesch is pleased to announce the exhibition Present Fugitive, featuring new work by California-based artist Ruth Pastine. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

Ruth Pastine’s nearly monochrome color field paintings invest in the perceptual experience of color, light, and temperature. Suspending preconceived notions about visual experience, she investigates the mercurial shift of warm and cool color identities. The complementary oil colors are worked together on the canvas inch-by-inch, wet into wet, layer upon layer, with a 2-inch brush- an essential part of the rigorous process and seamless resolve of the meticulous surfaces. Inspired by distinct and contrasting light conditions Pastine creates an inner luminosity, which expands beyond the canvas.

The work is clearly focused on the process of painting – taking the material aspect and transforming it through a disciplined work ethic into something spiritual – “optically immaterial”. The result is a visually arresting surface, vibrantly present and ephemeral, that appears to expand outwards as the edges contract inwards.

Donald Kuspit writes, “The light suddenly changed and the field changed with it, losing its uniformity and blossoming, as it were, into a variety of spontaneously color events. Undifferentiated shallow surface had become differentiated expressive depth, one narrow color note had expanded into a chamber music of colors, each distinct yet merging, playing off of each other yet oddly harmonious.” “Pastine creates an infinitely nuanced range of colors experiences, each with it’s own “spiritual sound” or resonance, to use Kandinsky’s term. While Pastine is obsessed with “the convergence and reconciliation of opposition,” the changing light brings out the opposing colors, conveying the tension between them.”

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