A Film by Eric Minh Swenson.
Ruth Pastine’s work is focused on the phenomenological investigation of color and its
optical invocation of temperature, light, and spatial interplay. Her painting process
explores the perceptual interaction of saturated and nuanced color relationships that
explore the dialogue between object, presence, and phenomena.
By utilizing a limited palette of specific complementary color systems Pastine is able to investigate infinite color experiences that transcend personal aesthetics. Working in oil on canvas, the countless small brushstrokes appear visually seamless. By carefully working these color systems through multiple layers she is able to push each painting beyond their own material substance and into a de-contextualized realm that speaks to the dialogue of materiality and immateriality, presence and absence, matter and light, surface and depth. Although the appearance of her brushwork remains indiscernible, the eye detects the presence of her hand in each work, informing the nuanced shifting of color and light, engaging the viewer in the present tense of discovery.
In contrast to the continuum of the seamless surfaces of her earlier paintings, her new
“Interplay” series uses the iconic structure of the canvas, predominantly the Suprematist Square, to reaffirm the internal architecture of the work. With the introduction of soft "edges" between hue, value and saturation separations, the parameters and margins present a subtle yet complex geometry. These parameters first appear structural, but paradoxically dissipate into pure atmospheric aura and light as the viewer attempts to focus on them.
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