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Brian Rutenberg
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2018

Painting should nail your foot to the floor so that you spend your life going around in a tiny circle. At the center of that circle is one question: Are you making art or are you manufacturing a state of permanent lucidity? Reflecting on my career, I am reminded of the clear-eyed truths that made me a painter: my love of humidity and my visceral obsession with the density of place. My connection to the landscape of coastal South Carolina is not a nostalgia and is much broader than memory. It’s my clear-seeing place. Everything I needed to become a painter I got long ago, and those things permeate everything I do, for my job is to construct a cosmos while standing on a postage stamp. It has taken me many decades to realize the simplest truth: to paint the landscape you must sit with your back to the window.

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