Eric Ruschman’s paintings are witty reflections on popular culture. In television production vernacular, “easter eggs” are coy inside jokes or special features situated in widely consumed media. This is precisely how Ruschman structures his ornate and highly chromatic paintings. The launchpads for these geometric abstractions and woodworked shaped panels are those of the gaymer, the sissy, and the fan boy. He draws from diverse source materials from film and television, fashion, design, and architecture as a means of recapitulating anecdotes from our shared cultural pasts and present. His buoyantly colorful, abstract paintings playfully engage with Modernist notions of distillation. Ruschman’s 2015 solo exhibition CRIBS at Circa Modern was comprised of a set of new paintings constructed from references to furniture that appeared in beloved TV shows like The Golden Girls, Frasier, The X-Files, and The Simpsons. These abstractions of patios, armchairs, and window dressings were exhibited in tableau of Modern furniture selected from the holdings of Chicago furniture dealer Donald Schmaltz. The resultant installations posed not only amusing interactions between “as seen on TV” décor and icons of Modernist design, but also instigated a lighthearted look at how painting is positioned within these desirably designed scenarios. Clichés are rendered with tenderness, and high forms of Modernism are detected then made to dance in commonplace contemporary contexts.


Contact: eruschman (at) gmail (dot) com