Episode 84: Ken Rush
If you take a deep long look at a Ken Rush painting, depth becomes apparent in the gradations of blue and use of shadow. It is hard to stay afloat on the surface of his works. His pool-scapes, for example- are not just images of pools- but profound studies in shapes, monochromatism, contrast, shadow, and encapsulation. He challenges boundaries and memory, giving you a taste of realism, but shifting perspective to present an alternative view that one might not have considered before.
It is in these challenges that my appreciation for Rush's work blossoms.
In the pandemic, he created a series called "Let's Paint" in which he set up an off-kilter iphone. We see his well-loved brushes, his canvases, and him- usually somewhat out of the frame- painting on decent sized surface. I found immense joy in listening to the sounds of his studio and hearing him talk or even cajole his medium to do what it was he wanted it all to do. He captured the feel of the pandemic in its early days when we all thought it was a bit more temporary. The idea of control when one has no control became an expression of stoicism- moving forward with what one knows how to do. His videos, though few, were a beacon of joyfulness, optimism and continuity. Life goes on. Let's paint. Let's make a latte.
After all, these are the things he's been doing for 50 years. And he does them rather well.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Ken on Episode 84 of The Large Glass. You can check out the episode right here: