"Present Fugitive: New Work by Ruth Pastine"

Gallery owner Sonja Roesch is very emphatic when she says, "These paintings are not monochromatic; they are near monochromatic, but there is more than one color in each one." She's talking about the pieces in the exhibit "Present Fugitive: New Work by Ruth Pastine." For example, one of Pastine's works is red on the left side and blue on the right, and in between there's an almost imperceptible shift in color, until one becomes the other. That quality is achieved in a painstaking process. "She paints with a tiny, little brush, in oil, in many, many layers," says Roesch. "That's why they feel like they have an inner light, like with a lightbulb inside." Roesch also notes that the paintings have a mathematical structure. Pastine marks each blank canvas with a grid, and each block is then numbered and painted over. "It's all about catching the light in this series," says Roesch. "Since the Renaissance, great painters like Vermeer, they all tried to capture the light in the painting. Today, the master achievement is still to capture the light."

While organizing this exhibit, Roesch visited Pastine in her California studio and saw a new commission the artist was working on. "There was so much energy, I literally got tears in my eyes," she says. "It was unbelievable. She watched me and said, 'I really was hoping for something like that.' When you stand in front of these paintings, you realize what's going on here. You have to see these paintings in person. It doesn't come through the screen, all the energy that they generate." Opening reception: 5 to 7 p.m. November 6. Regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Through December 31. Gallery Sonja Roesch, 2309 Caroline. For information, call 713-659-5424 or visit www.gallerysonjaroesch.com. Free.
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 6. Continues through Dec. 31, 2010


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