“My work expands upon my interest in geology, biology, and the undercurrents that continually shape and reshape our world. These forces – from gradual erosion to violent upheaval – are powerful metaphors for life experiences and the ebbs and flows of relationships. My paintings and installations become mappings where scale is shifted and obscured, articulating fractal patterns found in nature. I construct layered spaces through juxtapositions: micro and macro, controlled and unrestrained, graphic and atmospheric, organic and geometric, positive and negative, handmade and mechanized, linear and solid. I am continually challenged by creating environments that bridge these polarities.”
– Rebecca Rutstein, 2017
Philadelphia-based artist Rebecca Rutstein – whose work spans painting, installation, sculpture and public art – explores abstraction inspired by science, data and maps. With interests in geology, microbiology and marine science, Rutstein has been an artist in residence in Iceland, Hawaii, the Canadian Rockies and Vermont. Most recently she has collaborated with scientists on board research vessels sailing from the Galápagos Islands to California, Vietnam to Guam, and in Tahiti, working with sonar mapping data of the ocean floor and shedding light on a world hidden from view. Rutstein is slated to make her first descent in the deep sea submersible “Alvin” off the coast of Mexico in November, 2018, with a science team from University of Georgia, where she will also be a visiting fellow with a solo exhibition at the Georgia Museum of Art.
With over 25 solo exhibitions, Rutstein has exhibited widely in museums, institutions and galleries including solo exhibitions at the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks, Exploratorium (CA), Cornell University (NY), Philadelphia International Airport, Swarthmore College (PA) and Fleisher Art Memorial (PA), and in group exhibitions at the NY Hall of Science, Susquehanna Art Museum (PA), Bishop Museum (HI), Bucknell (PA), Rowan (NJ) and Virginia Commonwealth Universities. She has received numerous awards including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, an Independence Foundation Fellowship and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant. Rutstein has garnered recent attention through interviews and features on NPR, Huffington Post and Vice Magazine. Her work can be found in museum and public collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum, Temple University, Johns Hopkins Hospital & Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Rutstein holds a BFA from Cornell University (with abroad study in Rome) and an MFA from University of Pennsylvania. She has been a visiting artist at museums and universities across the US and enjoys speaking about the intersection of art and science. Rutstein is currently represented by Bridgette Mayer Gallery (Philadelphia), Zane Bennett Contemporary/Form & Concept (Santa Fe) and Sherry Leedy Contemporary (Kansas City, MO).