Ruth Pastine American, b. 1964

Focused on the spontaneity of the painting process, Ruth Pastine engages the austerity of the three complementary color systems which, although seemingly finite, access limitless possibilities. Working serially is an essential aspect of her creative process, as she evolves paintings in concert with and in juxtaposition to one another furthering the perceptual interaction of color. Her work addresses heightened perception through the interaction of color contexts lending itself to phenomenology, enhancing greater awareness towards existential inquiry. Confronting the unknown is always at the edge of discovery and is the onramp to new work. Color itself, in its infinite beauty, constitutes the immeasurable field of light and space that it defines.


Pastine's long-held fascination with contradiction, the interplay of opposites, is explored through complementary color systems and underlying principles that drive her work, the tangible and the intangible, an ever-present exchange and dialogue between presence and absence, surface and depth, matter and light, light and space, the finite and the limitless, the known and the unknown. Her work continues to be a contemplative and reflective investigative, exploring light from the depths of the color spectrum, phenomena and unpredictability, and confronting the unknown through serial repetition and variation.
Ruth Pastine continues to evolve pure abstraction and follow the concepts of Minimalist theory, furthering the phenomenological experience of light and space in her work. She explores the subtle character and nuance of color, color and light are reduced to their most elemental form, working with oil paint on canvas, building layer upon layer, countless small brush strokes resolve and appear visually seamless, producing an image that is both objective and dematerialized. Challenging preconceptions about color, her investigations into the manipulation of color, light, and matter question the perceptual experience and redefine the visual field.


Born and raised in New York City, Ruth Pastine received a four-year scholarship to Cooper Union for her B.F.A. Upon graduating she was awarded a post-graduate independent residency grant to the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She received her M.F.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York where she focused on painting, color theory and critical studies. In 2009, Pastine began site-specific work with a public commission entitled Limitless, composed of 8 large-scale vertical paintings, installed as two series in the adjoining lobbies of Ernst & Young Plaza, in downtown Los Angeles. In 2014, Ruth Pastine had her first museum survey exhibition titled: Attraction: 1993-2013 at MOAH Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA with exhibition catalog essays by Donald Kuspit and Peter Frank with an appreciation by De Wain Valentine. In 2015, she opened Present Tense, Paintings and Works on Paper spanning 2010-2015 at the CAM Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA. Ruth Pastine’s paintings are included in numerous public and corporate collections, including the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; SFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; MCASD Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; MFAH Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; MOAH Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA; Brookfield Properties, Ernst & Young Plaza, Los Angeles, CA; AXA Art, Cologne, Germany; Qualcomm, San Diego, CA; CIM Group Headquarters, Los Angeles, CA, PIMCO Global Headquarters, Newport Beach, CA; Proskauer, Washington, D.C.; United Airlines, Los Angeles, CA among others. Ruth Pastine lives and works in Southern California.