‘Symbolic Gestures’ feat. Bruce Rubenstein @ Castelli Art Space

October 11, 2019

Bruce Rubenstein exhibits a trio of artwork at Castelli Art Space which are positively maddening in their tempestuousness. Not to be confused with poorer derivatives of abstract art, Mr. Rubenstein tattoos his compositions with a secretion of unwieldiness which is incomparable to those with an aim at duplication, rather than inspiration. It is this abundant energy viscerally perceived as a happy lightning bolt in each work which is the accomplishment of a masterful artist.


Happily, because Mr. Rubenstein’s method is so eruptively spontaneous, each canvas is its own uncanny abstract representation. And there is a potpourri of techniques, sometimes physically handled, which showcases an element of danger to his artistry from the mischievous effects of expanding the boundaries of what is possible in fine art. This is to say that the idea of sacredness, orthodoxy, and supreme expression of spirituality may be damaged with such unrelenting energy. And yet, this earnestness is an aspect of a raw wildness necessary to be perceived in culture for civilization to flourish.


Civilization is commonly thought of as a form of muting the animal spirits within the human condition, rather than as is quintessentially Western – amplifying their possibilities by causing boundaries of restraint for their expression. Without the possibility of expressing fervor, a culture is left stale with hindsight to emblazon greatness; contrasted with a culture of vitality, which has a taste for intrepidly vanquishing the unforeseen horizon. Mr. Rubenstein, then, provides an adrenal shot of hope through his efforts at majesty. His dramatic excitations move one towards becoming dynamic rather than stolid, saturating the mind’s need to doubt with a volume of self-certainty of the goodness that will be through moving the world according to one’s own agency.


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