Here, Then and Now
The Night is Dark
January 9 – January 29, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 9, 6-9 p.m.
Curated by Cortney Stell
Philip J. Steele Gallery
Gallery Hours:11 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Saturday
The Philip J. Steele Gallery is pleased to present the concurrent openings of two solo exhibitions by artists Christina Shurts and Nathan Ritterpusch. The exhibitions will be the first in Colorado for each artist, and present an overview of large-scale paintings created in the past few years.
Christina Shurts’s exhibition is entitled Here, Then and Now, and features seven paintings by the California-based artist. Through painting, Shurts accesses a self-made trove of images from memory, relics of her childhood, personal and found photographs, and real and imagined home décor magazines to create paintings that exude feelings of nostalgia. She transforms familiar places of relaxation and luxury, such as tree houses, seaside amusement parks, oceanfront boardwalks, and long-deserted vacation cottages and resorts into alternate realities that are fantastical and unsettling. Shurts’s background as an athlete comes through in her gestural and active style of painting. Her works are often activated by large sweeping brushstrokes and blocks of tertiary colors. For Shurts, painting is an active way to filter the past through action in the present moment.
Nathan Ritterpusch’s exhibition is entitled The Night is Dark and features six paintings, all created in the past two years. Ritterpusch makes paintings that have a dark cinematic tone reminiscent of Film Noir. The artist stages photo shoots and paints from the photographs he takes. In Ritterpusch’s photo shoots he captures moments in which his subjects appear to be consumed by their emotions. These moments are often painted as voyeuristic glimpses into a larger untold narrative. Ritterpusch’s attraction to the relationship between the still image and moving image can be seen in the intentional destabilization of his imagery through the use of slight blurring, jitter, or “pixilation” in some works.
A resident of Huntington Beach, CA, Shurts has participated in group shows in California at the Torrance Art Museum, Pacific Design Center, LA Municipal Art Gallery, Lawrence Asher Gallery, LOFT Gallery, I-5 Gallery. He work has also been shown at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Shurts’s work has been included in three New American Paintings annuals (Nos. 87, 91, 103). Her second one-person exhibition at RARE kicked off the gallery’s 15th season in September 2013.
Ritterpusch's solo debut took place at RARE, a New York gallery, in 2006. In 2007, he participated in a drawing show at Galerie Burkhard Eikelmann in Dusseldorf, a painting group show at Galerie Romerapotheke in Zurich, and a residency at Prague's Karlin Studios, which was followed by an exhibition at Futura Gallery also in Prague. Ritterpusch made his European solo debut at Galerie Burkhard Eikelmann in Dusseldorf in the spring of 2008 (a full-color, 34-page catalogue was produced) and had his second one-person show there in 2011. He took his second solo bow at RARE in February/March 2009 and participated in two group exhibitions at Katz Contemporary in Zurich during the spring and fall of 2009. His third one-person show at RARE ran from October 11 through November 8, 2012. Ritterpusch’s paintings are included in the collections of Jean Pigozzi, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Marc & Livia Straus, Howard Tullman, Dean Valentine, and Nordine Zidoun.
At top: Detail of Salton Sink, Christina Shurts 2011-12, oil on canvas Detail of Pick Up, Nathan Ritterpusch, 2012, oil on canvas Works shown courtesy of the artists and RARE Gallery