Ethereal Color Abstractions by Lester Rapaport With Homages to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Lewis
Lester Rapaport For John Lewis-Patriot, 2020 Acrylic on canvas 54 x 54 x 2"
The new color-based series of abstract paintings by Lester Rapaport <link to Rapaport Artist Page>, Into The Mystery, returns to more reductive compositions that are upbeat and positive. They are spiritual, marking a significant achievement of increased awareness and consciousness through meditation. Important artistic influences include the reductive, serene and meditative paintings of Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin. While Rapaport does not consider himself a Color Field <https://www.davidrichardgallery.com/exhibit/322-color-stained-brushed-and-poured> painter or color theorist <https://www.blogdavidrichardgallery.com/post/2019/01/09/color-theory > per se, the sprays are comprised of many layers of pillowy soft colors that are aerosolized with a spray gun and pixilated on the surface. Thus, color mixing occurs on the surfaces in a very mechanical way and while he is aware of the potential color interactions with each layer he applies, intuition and a vision in his mind of the color impact he is striving for is what ultimately drives the outcome. Several of these paintings, like certain paintings in most series by Rapaport, are directly inspired by a personal loss, important cultural icon or profound cultural event. Specifically, while producing this new series, Rapaport was so moved by the passing of both Ruth Bader Ginsburg (a.k.a “RBG”, see below) and John Lewis (see above), that he stopped everything and immediately painted canvases to honor each of them and their important contributions to our country and society. The composition of these new paintings contains a single central disc on a square canvas with ethereal grounds, and, according to the artist, presents “the disc as a primal mystery with emotive color relationships between disc, background, and horizontal mist-like bands.” The reductive compositions are every bit as bold as his earlier works from prior decades, but borne from a different, peaceful inspiration that is more celebratory than somber. This new series of paintings, Into The Mystery, is part of a larger exhibition entitled, Awakening <https://www.davidrichardgallery.com/exhibit/521-lester-rapaport>, that compares and examines another earlier series of shaped canvases, Gifts to the Universe, painted by Rapaport in 1988 and 1989. Both series documented breakthroughs for the artist on his path to healing from a dark period in his life that used painting and inner awareness as part of his recovery process.
Lester Rapaport Because, 2020
Acrylic cotton duck 54 x 54 x 2”
Lester Rapaport Lost Horizon, 2020 Acrylic cotton duck 54 x 54 x 2” Note: the sphere is a neutralized lavender color.
Lester Rapaport En-lightened, 2020 Acrylic cotton duck 54 x 54 x 2”
Lester Rapaport Touched with Fire, 2020 Acrylic cotton duck 54 x 54 x 2”
Lester Rapaport For RGB and Our Abyss, 2020 Acrylic on canvas 54 x 54 x 2” Note: The center sphere includes purple as does the background of the etherial mist.
Lester Rapaport Yesterday Tomorrow, 2020 Acrylic cotton duck 54 x 54 x 2”
Lester Rapaport TOMORROW, 2020 Acrylic cotton duck 54 x 54 x 2”
About Lester Rapaport: Rapaport (b. 1947), born and raised in New York City, earned his BFA in 1969 and pursued graduate studies at Hunter College. Initially trained and concentrated on figurative painting and drawing, by the late 1960s he switched entirely to abstract painting. The 1970s were a bit of a lost decade for the artist due to health issues and other personal matters. However, he reemerged in the early 1980s and has consistently produced challenging and inter-related series of abstract artworks that he has exhibited mostly in and around New York. His strongest affiliations have been with Westbroadway Gallery in New York and Sideshow Gallery in Brooklyn. All Artworks Copyright © Lester Rapaport, Courtesy David Richard Gallery, LLC
David Eichholtz, Manager,
David Richard Gallery, LLC