The work of Josephine Rutten

Josephine Rutten with one of her pieces.

Josephine Rutten with one of her pieces.


Her paintings are often about structure and texture. The textures of the soil in a field; the structure of grasses growing alongside one another in random compositions. She will zoom in on a detail, on the ground beneath your feet, for one painting; she zooms out to the wide spaces around us, for another. Structure in layers.

There is no judgemental aspect to her painting, no moral position or message. That is what intrigues about her work: surface, skin, scratches on the tar seal, an acre of ploughed land with a quality of its own. The spectator and his/her emotional reaction to the painted image is a private affair. Her painting is known for its layered application of unusual colours, used in different techniques: e.g. crayon, chalk, charcoal, sand besides oil- and industrial spraypaint.


In her sculpting too, surface is an important element, as she may paint the bronze or give it the appearance of carton or bubble plastic. Again: there is no mercy for the material, there is just expression. In the three dimensions of sculpting one sees a human figure, caught in the action of something small, such as to enjoy oneself.


Josephine Rutten: grad. St. Joost Art School Breda, 1974. Numerous exhibitions, solo and group, in The Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, France. In private collections and public institutions. Paintings (mixed media, oil on canvas), bronze sculptures. She works in her studios in Amsterdam and in the French Provence.