I Will Tell You a Place: Paintings by Brian Rutenberg, opened Saturday, January 29, 2011 at Augustas Morris Museum of Art
. The exhibitiontwenty -four brilliantly colored abstract paintings in oil inspired by the low-country of coastal South Carolinaremains on display through Sunday, May 15, 2011. Artist Brian Rutenberg will be honored as the featured artist at the Eighteenth Annual Morris Museum of Art Gala , on Friday March 4, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Brian Rutenbergs paintings are so vivid, you can practically hear them, said Kevin Grogan, director of the Morris Museum of Art. His paintings have been shaped to an unusual degree by his youthful exploration of the great outdoors and are keenly reminiscent of a lush and challenging landscape. We are delighted to have this opportunity to introduce them to Augusta.
Brian Rutenberg, born and raised in low-country South Carolina , spent his childhood exploring the regions wetlands and developing a love for the landscape. He attended the College of Charleston , where he studied under William Halsey, often referred to as the Dean of contemporary art in South Carolina , and British abstract painter Michael Tyzack, who became his faculty advisor and close friend.
After his graduation in 1987 he moved to New York City, where he entered the master of fine arts program at the School of Visual Arts. There he developed inspirational friendships with painters Gregory Amenoff and Walter Darby Bannard, as well as the sculptor John Raimondi, who helped to introduce the young artists work to a larger audience.
He has traveled widely to pursue further study Italy in 1991 and Ireland , where he spent 1997 as a Fulbright Scholar. While in Ireland , Rutenberg was honored with studio space at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin . He became fascinated by ancient Celtic culture, and his work exhibits that influence still.
Rutenberg, who believes that a painting must address the physical presence of the viewer first, has long placed primary emphasis on surface and material. He is known for his liberal use of oil paint, which is sometimes built up in layers that are, sometimes, up to three inches thick. His paintings, whose brilliant surfaces have the effect of an accretion of crushed jewels, are grounded in his love for Old Master painting and drawing, just as his sense of color is rooted in his native South Carolina .
Rutenbergs work has been featured in solo exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada. He is represented in many prestigious public collections, including those of the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; the Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, North Carolina; the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina; the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana; the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; and the Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.
I Will Tell You a Place: Paintings by Brian Rutenberg was organized by the Morris Museum of Art with the assistance of the Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, North Carolina. The exhibition remains on view through May 15, 2011.