Ruth Trotter paints intimate views of imaginary places. Her studio practice embraces mark making and risk taking; lyrical shapes stretch across the surface, diagrammatic lines map out territory, and luscious smears blur boundaries. Her use of modular forms and intersecting planes enters a dialog with the painting strategies of Terry Winters, whose rich surfaces reveal or obscure abstracted imagery. In some passages her painterly maneuvers demonstrate careful choreography, while other moments express unbridled impulse. This paradoxical balance of design and flux energizes her canvases and invites investigation.
In Trotter’s paintings, foregrounds, middle grounds and backgrounds inform and reinforce each other. Like a visual version of haiku lines, independent spatial planes synchronize to conjure a unique place or situation. As these planes morph and segue, sweetness sours, brightness fades and stillness moves. These dynamic transformations allude to the color and composition of Richard Diebenkorn’s ‘Ocean Park’ paintings where gentle atmospheres adorn agitated structures. Trotter’s colors – cloudless sky blues, sundrenched earth tones, and vivid flower hues – appear to be drawn from idyllic landscapes. Free from gravity’s pull and the specificity of realism, this luminous palette seems to reveal abstract narratives of puzzles pondered, environments envisioned, and activities articulated.
Ruth Trotter is a painter and Professor of Art at the University of La Verne. She received her B.A. from Scripps College and her M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University. Her paintings, prints, and drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally. As well as maintaining a studio practice and teaching, Trotter has extensive curatorial experience and has served as a panelist and advisor to several arts organizations in the Los Angeles area.