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Back to Reviews 96

Brian Rutenberg, 
Sea and Rain, 1995-96

david ebony's 
new york top ten

Brian Rutenberg 
at cavin-morris

October 24 - November 30, 1996 
In this group of recent paintings, 
collectively titled, "The Pond," Brian 
Rutenberg advances his reputation as one of 
the best painters around. His work evokes 
light and space that centers on water, but 
Rutenberg's aquatic world is conceptual--a 
metaphor for painting itself. The work is 
firmly grounded in abstraction, a domain to 
which the artist is adding some new 
territory. It seems as if his confidence 
and talent allow him access to secret 
painterly places. He dispatches generous 
but not excessive amounts of paint on the 
canvas in sumptuous, sweeping curves like 
there's no tomorrow. His rhythmic gestures 
convey a range of emotions, exclusive of 
anger. Even the holes poked in the canvases 
clearly do not result from rage. Instead, 
they serve to thwart a sense of 
illusionism. Since the depth of Rutenberg's 
pond may be unfathomable, he keeps us 
safely on dry land. 
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