Rebecca Rutstein's amorphous paintscapes could be categorized of maps, yet the undulating forms track human relationships more than any existing land mass. The Philadelphia-based artist creates self-made abstractions of lands that never were, tracking the parallels between geographical forms and the human experience.
Rutstein's newest exhibition, entitled "Deep Rift," was inspired by an artist residency in geographically multifarious Laugervatn, Iceland, rich with glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls and tectonic plates. The artist aligns the ups-and-downs of nature's forms with the eternal fluctuations of life and love.
To capture the diverse and paradoxical qualities of the landscape, Rutstein departed with traditional perspective in favor of an undulating point of view influenced by 3D technology and the work of Buckminster Fuller. Rutstein doesn't just depict landscapes in her works, but through scraping and dripping pigments, creates physical landscapes out of the canvases themselves.
"I attempt to construct spaces that bridge polarities," Rutstein explains in her artist statement. "Graphic vs. atmospheric, positive vs. negative, solid vs. linear, micro vs. macro, flat vs. dimensional. In the wall piece, I was particularly interested in the interplay of the hand vs. machine."
"Deep Rift" will show at Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia from February 27 until March 30. In the meantime, tour Rutstein's imagined land masses in the slideshow below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.