At least four times a year painter Brian Rutenberg leaves the bright lights of New York, his home for the last 20 odd years, for the landscapes of his youth in the South Carolina lowlands. It is amongst the tupelo swamps, the cypress forests, the coastal waterways and the lazy rivers that this abstract painter’s muse resides.
It is from the prose of the sketches Rutenberg makes on these sojourns that back in his studio the poetry of his paintings evolves. The monochrome lines are transformed into color and form creating intriguing metaphors; the ultimate destination of the painter’s craft.
With a BA from the College of Charleston, a MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and visits to Italy, Canada and Ireland, Rutenberg is very much aware it’s not so much what you say, it has most likely been said before, but how you say it that matters. As a well turned poetical phrase can conjure a new meaning from the hackney so his juxtapositions of color and form provide a visually inspiring delight for the eye.
His revelations come from the examination of the familiar, the backyard of his life, a culmination of heart and intellect in this journey through abstract motifs with expressionist overtones to define his relationship with the landscape he knows best.
Rutenberg’s current exhibition, Saltwater, is on show at New York’s Forum Gallery until the 6th of December. Future exhibitions are planned for San Francisco, Atlanta, Providence Rhode Island and Charlotte North Carolina.