Lora Schlesinger Gallery is pleased to announce New Paintings, Ron Rizk’s third solo-exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition opens with the artist’s reception on Saturday, October 24th from 5-7 pm and is on view through December 5th, 2015.
Rizk paints with a high degree of technical virtuosity that entices viewers to become immersed in the act of looking at paintings. Though each piece draws one in with optical tricks and deception in the tradition of tromp l’oeil, Ron adds a contemporary twist creating a dialogue between realism and abstraction.
Rizk’s masterfully rendered new paintings continue a historical tradition of tromp l’oeil creating illusions on a two-dimensional surface of hand-chosen peculiar man-made objects. Among the subjects depicted are strange tools that have become obsolete in a technological age, vintage toys, fragments of folded paper or painters’ tape. The elements are arranged or placed in compositions that address questions about abstraction creating an interplay between dimensionality and flatness, realistic and imaginary, figuration and abstraction. From afar, one can mistake the paintings Soft Landing and Business Machine for flat geometric abstractions. At closer inspection the elements of each piece reveal carefully crafted wooden wheels hand-picked from a children’s toy and an aged abacus rendered with such a high level of detail that one can see the cracks on the surface of the wood where the paint changes in texture and color from use and old age. Rizk’s subjects remind the viewer of the history of each object with great attention paid to their surfaces, venerating them in the end. Juxtaposing his perfectionism with imperfect objects and imaginary landscapes, he creates a visual language that is not only a portal to another world; but also opens a window into the endless discussion about painting and the role of painting in the art world.
Ron Rizk was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He received a diploma from the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art, his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and his MFA form the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana. He is a former Professor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing at the University of Southern California Roski School of Fine Arts. He has exhibited nationally since the late 1960’s in galleries across the United States and with museums including the Denver Art Museum, CO; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Grand Rapids Museum of Art, MI; Laguna Beach Museum of Art, CA; Long Beach Art Museum, CA; and Oakland Museum, CA.