I use paint processes to investigate how screens have shifted our understanding of space. Using landscape images as a signal for the history of illusionistic space, I merge landscape references with abstract techniques to create works that capture the tension between two virtual spaces—a painted substrate and a screen. Using applications that are both controlled and improvisational, I play with flatness vs. depth and opacity vs. transparency. Condensing the digital impression and the painterly gesture into one surface, I create an image that is at once familiar but also removed, thus challenging the viewer to question technology’s role in our perception of nature and space.
I utilize the landscape images that are presented to us as digital backdrops for our everyday experiences. MAC IOS desktop images, video games such as The Oregon Trail, and built wireframe environments serve as starting points for my paintings and works on paper. Using various combinations of acrylic paint, watercolor, spray applications, colored pencil and silkscreen I rely on methodical processes to construct my surfaces. These applications create luminous depth and imply texture but appear virtually flat mimicking images that have been spatially condensed and visually altered through technological programs.
Areas of Interest: Landscape, Glitch Aesthetics, DataMoshing, Virtual Space, Computer Screen Savers, Hudson River School and the American Sublime
Ruth Lantz, an Illinois-based artist, received her Masters in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland, OR in 2010. Her work has been featured nationally at numerous galleries and institutions, including the Rockford Art Museum (Rockford, IL), Russo Lee Gallery (Portland, OR) Disjecta (Portland, OR), Washington State University Vancouver (Vancouver, WA), Governors State University (University Park, IL), St. Louis Artist’s Guild (St. Louis, MO), Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, IL) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis, IN). Her work was featured at the Portland International Airport and at the Fringe Festival at Southern Oregon University and she was a presenter in the “Making a Better Painting” Symposium at the Hoffman Gallery at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. Lantz is the founder of Crit Connection, a project providing networking opportunities and resources to emerging and mid-career artists.