San Francisco

Rick Arnitz

Wirtz Art

In the tradition of eye-dazzling abstraction, there is something both satisfying and slightly mysterious about Rick Arnitz’s adroit manipulation of paint. In “Backdrops,” the artist’s most recent body of work, shimmying stripes or interwoven patterns of contrasting lines alternately pop forward and recede, lock in to a single plane, or jostle one another in an undefinable space. Although several canvases are essentially black-and-white, others feature brilliant, almost shocking reds, blues, or yellows. Color, however, isn’t really the key that reveals the meaning of these works. Instead, it is the means of their making. For fifteen years, Arnitz has painted almost exclusively with a roller. His choice of tools is neither a gimmick nor a strategy, but rather a means for expressing his heartfelt affection and admiration for Abstract Expressionism—while acknowledging the impossibility

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