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Tony Delap / Ruth Pastine
at Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
Recommendation by Roberta Carasso

Tony Delap brings his trademark master of illusion to paintings keyed in green. Ruth Pastine works with elegant systems of color

Two exceptional artists, Tony DeLap and Ruth Pastine, come together to form one powerful exhibition that passionately explores relationships of color, shapes, and space. DeLap is a master of illusion. Here he puts on a flat canvas what he might have constructed to go into one of his dimensional sculptures. Using black and white acrylic, against luscious spinach green and wood-like colored raw linen, DeLap works the four-color surfaces as if they were three-dimensional forms. In most paintings here green dominates, no matter how large or small the area it covers. While his luminous green carries with it associations with money, billiards, or plants, it adds an emotional impact to the more sober colors. DeLap’s shapes turn corners, disappear, reappear, and embrace what might be seen when looking at a full dimensional form on one side then shifting to look at it from the other side. Playing with physical space, Delap creates hyperbolic paraboloids that deceptively test the viewer, who must determine which is up or down, or top or bottom. We try to see the whole or attempt to cobble together the whole in our minds, while in fact we are able only to see the parts.

Pastine is a colorist pushing secondary oil paint on canvas to see how each of two colors reacts with and to the other. In working with systems of color, structure, and perception, she discovered that an Orange and a Violet, a Green and Orange, or a Violet and Green, when developed layer upon layer, tends either to conquer or surrender to the other color. Pastine’s work has a great deal of depth. In applying paint to a canvas, she considers not only the effects of the color, but the light and temperature it transmits. The convergence of complimentary colors evokes a visceral effect as the strength of one against the power of the other heats up the canvas, giving us a breathtaking experience; it’s as though you’re seeing color for the first time.

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