Ruth Pastine’s newest paintings are visually stunning and instantly engaging as viewer’s try to confirm their undulating properties and seeming vibration. Color is the key as she exploits the contrast between certain hues, blurring their transitions and boundaries to create a visual pulse and rhythm.
Pastine’s unique approach to exploring visual perception — by methodically constructing a series of oppositions within a single painting and across an entire body of work — is subtle and creates multiple real and perceived tensions in her newest compositions. Avoiding defined boundaries and structures, Pastine’s paintings are ethereal and quickly take the viewer into uncharted territory that is transcendent and drifts into the metaphysical realm. Those oppositions create optical effects, achieved by juxtaposing, layering and transitioning, as the artist says, “high-key” saturated colors and steep value gradients that produce soft blended borders that give the illusion of the hues moving forward and backward, in and out of the picture plane. Having studied at Hunter College in New York, Pastine is well rooted in color theory and fully understands the interaction of adjacent colors that yields great illusory effects, giving her paintings a lot of push/pull and maximal vibration. Painstakingly created by hand using only brushes and oil paint, her paintings are created from thousands of strokes that layer, blend and transition colors subtly from one to the other.