© Rick Arnitz

Whodunit, 2007
oil enamel on canvas, 84 x 72 inches

Rick Arnitz

Presented are eight works on canvas and panel featuring new variations on his definitive technique. Arnitz wields a household paint roller in place of a brush to apply repeated layers of oil enamel paint, producing what the artist terms "semi-abstract" works with a dynamic but materially grounded optical effect.

While Arnitz restricts himself to using only a paint roller, recent works defy preconceived expectations of the artist. Paintings in the installation indicate an expanded social context, and the imagery in each work is varied and startlingly unique, with some surprising twists. One piece is in the shape of an inverted triangle; others appropriate iconic symbols, including the American flag. In some cases, Arnitz has used commonly recognizable shapes to mask areas of the painting and organize the anarchic energy of the marks beneath. In others titles and words appear that suggest enigmatic associations buried beneath the layers of his signature repeated roller marks.

Arnitz's paintings are audacious and rife with visual puns and multiple associations that reference recent events - from the attacks of 9/11 to the fear and images of destruction associated with the Iraq war. Homage is paid to art historical antecedents such as Gustav Courbet, Rene Magritte, Jasper Johns, and Phillip Guston. In Arnitz's process-oriented approach, line can morph into both literal and metaphorical landscape, simultaneously suggesting both the Iraqi desert and the exaggerated anxiety that characterizes our current culture. Arnitz extols the virtue inherent in the immediacy and emotion of paint and advocates a place for painting in the polemic for visual truth.

Exhibition: June 7 - July 14, 2007
Gallery hours: Tues-Fri 9:30 am - 5:30 pm,
Sat 10:30 am - 5:30 pm

Stephen Wirtz Gallery
49 Geary Street, 3rd Floor
USA-San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone +1 415 433-6879
Fax +1 415 433-1608
Email swg@wirtzgallery.com