New York City based artist Brian Rutenberg is currently showing “Eight Landscapes” at Toomey Tourell Fine Art in San Francisco. Inspired by his native South Carolina Lowcountry coast, Rutenberg creates abstract psychedelic-colored landscapes. Patches of layered shapes in saturated colors jump off the canvas. Thick expressive brushstrokes suggest the forces of nature as well as the artist’s passion for the natural world.
In the gallery’s press release, Rutenberg says, “The primacy of place remains a source of content. I make many realistic pencil drawings of trees not for their timeless beauty but because I am obsessed with the moment in which the trunk meets earth, the embodiment of solid, bulletproof, unconditional placement. With this fundamental relationship in mind I compose my paintings through systems of vertical/horizontal intersections, the vertical referring to the solitary human figure and the horizontal to the landscape. Each time the two cross a detonation of energy occurs connecting the interior of the painted images to the four sides of the canvas and back again, image/object, object/image. Each piece embodies a spacious, self-generating experience unto itself. A painting is like glue binding the physical world under our feet to the privacy of our thoughts, it comes to life in that split second when the outside becomes inside. I want to freeze that moment.”