Portrait © Donna Granata 2008
The paintings actively engage the viewer to experience light and color from black, from a perceptual place where visibility is ambiguous and is free from preconceived notions, and is redefined.
Intense and articulate, Ruth Pastine’s work – with its subtle dynamics – confronts, challenges and re-educates the viewer. Her desire is to confront you optically and viscerally, to confound you with light and color, in her words, “to construct a poignant perceptual experience.” She succeeds. Born and educated in New York City, Pastine is a classically trained artist who believes passionately that art is life changing and that life changes can dramatically influence her art. She considers herself an essentialist; her focus is on light and color. She wants us to re-think the way we see, to re-train our eyes, to absorb her work in the moment.
Pastine describes the series entitled Black Light Paintings. “[The paintings] investigate the presence of light and color, through exploring the darkest hues of the color system. Light and color resonate and emerge from dark nameless color events, defining black as the absence of and complete absorption of light. The paintings actively engage the viewer to experience light and color from black, from a perceptual place where visibility is ambiguous and is free from preconceived notions, and is redefined.”
Pastine states, “My work evolves through the process of painting. A pivotal painting or preceding body of work will drive the direction of the next series and group of paintings. The Black Light Paintings are in direct response to my prior body of White Paintings, which diffused the materiality of the painted surface into perceptually immaterial experiences.”
Ruth Pastine’s documentation took place in 2007 and was sponsored by Dr. Richard Gould and Jim and Meg Easton. The FOTM Archive contains extensive information about this artist.