Brian Rutenberg, ‘NINE BARK’, 2015, Jerald Melberg Gallery

About Brian Rutenberg

Profoundly affected by the South Carolina low country where he grew up, Brian Rutenberg paints abstract landscapes in colorful combinations of paint that are by turns harmonious and discordant. Rutenberg cites Hans Hofmann and Gregory Amenoff as major influences, as well as Thomas Gainsborough, Eugène Delacroix, Paul Cézanne, and the Group of Seven painters in their treatment of figure and ground. Rutenberg uses a warm palette and thick layers of paint in his foregrounds—sometimes inches thick—which contrast with the cooler and more thinly applied colors of the background. “I like the conceptual idea of the foreground being related to the physical world, to the actual flesh of the person looking at the painting,” he says. In the 1990s, Rutenberg began making regular trips to Canada to study the life and work of pianist Glenn Gould, whose career has served as a model for Rutenberg’s, in the way, he says, Gould “sought ecstasy.”

American, b. 1965, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, based in New York, New York

Group Shows

2012
Forum Gallery at Miami Project 2012