Opening Reception Friday, March 1, 6:00p.m. - 8:30p.m.
Bridgette Mayer Gallery is pleased to announce its sixth solo exhibition of work by artist and Pew Fellow,
Rebecca Rutstein. Deep Rift will be on view from February 27 to March 30, 2013, with an opening
reception Friday, March 1, from 6:00 - 8:30 pm. The exhibition will feature new large and small
paintings, as well as a site-specific, wall mounted sculptural piece spanning 10 x 16 ½ feet.
Deep Rift is a natural continuance of Rebecca Rutstein’s fantastical, landscape-based paintings. Her interest
in geology as both subject matter and metaphor for life experiences and relationships is present, yet pared
down and refined. Overt identifiable iconography has been abandoned in favor of more amorphous
spaces. Wire-framed maps were once a muted background component in Rutstein’s work. In Deep Rift
they have become the focal point. Undulating and disintegrating across the canvas, these artist-created
topographies evoke the never ending turns of life and personal relationships. Along with the subject matter,
the artist has shifted her physical use of paint as well. Experimenting with dripping, scraping and dragging
paint across the canvas, the paintings in Deep Rift reveal a more dynamic surface quality and bolder color
than previous bodies of work.
Rutstein’s participation in the Gullkistan Residency in Laugarvatn, Iceland was a major influence on the work
in Deep Rift. She states, “One of the most geologically diverse places on earth – rich in glaciers,
volcanoes, geysers and waterfalls – the island straddles two divergent tectonic plates. I was legitimately
struck by the stark contrasts in the landscape and humbled by the forces behind it all. In particular, a
guided hike on Sólheimajökull glacier in the south of Iceland was the inspiration for many of the paintings
as well as the sculptural wall piece in the show.” During this exhibition, the back wall of the gallery will
feature a laser-cut, steel sculpture that mimics the movement and rolling nature of Rutstein’s paintings.
Rebecca Rutstein received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997 and her BFA from Cornell
University in 1993. The artist has completed several residencies including, Gullkistan Residency
(Laugarvatn, Iceland), the Red Cinder Artist Colony (Na'alehu, Hawaii), the Banff Centre for the Arts (Banff,
Canada) and the Vermont Studio Center. She has been a visiting artist at a number of institutions, including
Moore College of Art and Design, University of Texas, and Swarthmore College. Rutstein has been the
recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a Bridgette Mayer Travel Grant, a Pennsylvania Council on the
Arts Grant, a Pew Professional Development Grant, and an Independence Foundation Fellowship in the
Arts. She has had numerous exhibitions including solo shows at the Philadelphia International Airport, Sylvia
White Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA) and Fleisher Art Memorial