BROKEN RULES: a two person exhibition featuring Betz Bernhard & Andrew Rubinstein
ZINC contemporary is pleased to present BROKEN RULES featuring Washington-based artists Betz Bernhard and Andrew Rubinstein. Utilizing color and pattern to explore the dialogue that occurs at the intersection of repeating lines. Repetition is a powerful tool in precise hands, and Betz Bernhard presents a new body of abstract fabric and collage that shows her considering the liminal spaces where fields of color and pattern sit shoulder-to-shoulder. Using textiles ranging from vintage kimono silk to hand-dyed organza, Bernhard creates flat sewn compositions that hew closer to abstract paintings than traditional quilting. Arranging her chosen components like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, Bernhard moves her elements many times to find harmonious juxtaposition before finally tacking and sewing them down. Once the edges are sewn, she continues her line in an ever-contracting spiral towards the center of each segment of cloth, creating stitch-marked lines like fingerprints. The effect is reminiscent of seeing abutting farms from a plane window; each plot of land seeming legally separate and distinct, but in reality inextricably connected beneath by common soil and shared roots.
Similarly, oil painter Andrew Rubinstein finds fertile ground in the places where patterns stop and start, where edges meet and lines almost intersect. He produces large canvases where blocks of parallel lines run straight and true as cornfields, then stop and suddenly yield their space when they encounter a block running the opposite way. Rubinstein creates these works instinctively, laying down lines and a system of rules for where those lines can go simultaneously. “A pattern will appear,' he says, “and when that law is established, I’ll break the law and move on to another pattern.” By the end of his process, he has developed a semblance of organization to the composition that has arisen intuitively, an interplay of restraint that gives motion and vibrancy to the work.