November 2, 2016
Ruth Pastine
Los Angeles Times
David Pagel
November 2, 2016

Each of Ruth Pastine’s six paintings and two drawings — a tiny slice of time that doesn’t seem to amount to much because it’s so fleeting.

But in Pastine’s hands, that incidental split-second expands — with uncanny frequency. The intensity also picks up. The supersaturated colors, in simple, minimalist compositions, make you breathe deeply — first to catch your breath and then to get enough oxygen so as not to miss anything.

That happens so often in “Ethereal Materials” that time seems to slow down. An intoxicating combination of sensuality and serenity suffuses the space. Whispering, rather than screaming, Pastine’s paintings suggest that art is not timeless because its impact is unchanging, but because it is always changing. Mystery fills each moment with infinite possibility.

Pastine’s six midsize oils on canvas have been installed on three walls. On the north hang a pair of red vertical paintings. On the south hangs a dark blue horizontal canvas. And in between, on the long east wall, Pastine moves viewers from red to blue, or blue to red, depending on where you begin.

The trip takes you through a range of purples, pinks and burgundies, then grays and sky blues before introducing shades so dark they rival the night sky’s velvety richness.

There’s no end to the quiet beauty of Pastine’s paintings, which play well with one another because each gives you so much time and space of your own.

Opposites may attract. But more nuanced differences generate deeper conversations.

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