Ace Gallery Beverly Hills presents Ethereal Material, an exhibition of selected paintings and works on paper by California-based artist Ruth Pastine. Pastine’s minimalist works address phenomena of color perception. In seamless gradients, often composed with nuanced admixtures of complementary hues, Pastine’s surfaces appear to pulse toward their edges. The luminous color is built up with countless brushstrokes taking months to complete.
Art critic Donald Kuspit writes: ”however famously ‘impalpable’ Pastine’s perfectionist paintings have been said to be—as though the complementary colors have been miraculously distilled into sublime unity, atmospherically diffusing them so that they become ungraspable—they are inherently contradictory. Their difference may be minimalized, but the tension between them works aesthetic magic. It subliminally—and sometimes self-evidently—remains, suggesting that their unity is in conceptual fact impossible however perceptually suggested. ”
Pastine’s work emphasizes the event of the viewer’s encounter with the painting. Art writer Peter Frank observes: “Ruth Pastine … achieves a persuasive intensity in her paintings by approaching them with physical and intellectual fervor. … The work, after all, must seem to ‘happen’ before the viewer’s eyes even as it must seem to have always existed. As immaterial as they are, Pastine’s paintings are the realest things we can see.”