Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition of Lisa Ruyter paintings entitled An Obvious Moment of Happiness, which will run from the opening on Thursday May 4 through May 27. This will be the artist's second exhibition in Paris.
This new group of colorful landscapes are based on photographs taken during several months in Mykonos last year. Like all of Ruyter's paintings, these have been taken from her own snapshot photographs that are then projected onto very large blank canvas. The abstracted lines that a prosaic typical holiday photograph might engender, when blown up into a large-scale painting, have a flattened and artificial quality.
The views of hills, roads, villages begin to take on a flattened almost billboard-like appearance, the viewer is somehow implicated in the compression of space. The riot of color, blues, purples, reds, oranges, and pinks make the natural features that are so well known to the viewer appear both alien and unnatural. For a moment there is a reminiscence of Japanese woodblock prints that so absorbed the Impressionist painters of the last century. Afterall the breakdown of light and color into flattened planes was a radical departure then. With Lisa Ruyter we have almost a cinematic space that is somehow silenced and paralyzed in a strange frame of inactivity.
The side of a road looking out on a hillside is both static and very much like something one has seen before. There are moments of romantic vistas, which seem highly unlikely in their harsh tonalities. A long roadway in An Obvious Moment of Happiness (her titles are picked spontaneously from a long list of movie titles collected in a title bank) is dark green in the foreground, and floats off into the horizon as light green against a red ground plane. The far horizon line is orange like a molten sea.
We see references to the generic, which have made her distinctive style so recognizable. Whether she is painting party scenes, mannequins swaying down the catwalk, or tropical jungle settings, Ruyter's need to document the world around her in this neutral middle distance where the viewer is both there and not, like a post modern voyeur of the artists own need to mediate what is there around at any moment in time, this is the stance of an original artist with a keen eye and cool distanced vantage point.