MICHAEL RITTSTEIN: WITH A LIGHTNESS IN MY STEP
Michael Rittstein (1949) is an excellent artist with his own painting style. He is an observer of people and social interactions among living creatures. By depicting them he strives to penetrate the verbal and even more so the non-verbal essence of such interactions. He gathers situations observed in real life and stages them. The result is a depiction of the ontological principles of mankind’s existence: its strivings, successes, failures, the grotesqueness of morals, as well as the internal integrity of every individual. He is fascinated by the animal nature of the motions of humans and animals, and his scenes from the life of mankind and animals are full of action, frequently invoking a baroque perspective and a mass of bodies and an intertwining of scenes like those of Hieronymus Bosch. But Rittstein is rooted in today and does not present any moralizing meanings. He is fascinated by the story of human striving. However, his works are the essence of the big picture. Therefore, his exhibition has been entitled Ľahkým krokom (With A Lightness in My Step), i.e., brisk and with a proper grasp of things. This presentation of his work from the past fifteen years focuses on today’s world. His unmistakable style features expressiveness and dynamism. His use of highly distinctive colors and their application in dense layers, endow his paintings with contrast, gloss and plasticity.
This exhibition includes the series of paintings entitled Športová epopej (The Sports Epic, 2011). These twenty-seven paintings depict Olympic sports and were commissioned by the Czech Olympic Committee for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. The exhibition also features a large painting entitled Podľa scenára (According to the Script, 2009), which was commissioned by the renowned Czech director Jan Němec for his film, Heart Beat 3D. In addition to the more than sixty paintings that will be on display, a book entitled Michael Rittstein has been published on this occasion, in which this painter, artist, pedagogue explains the meaning and circumstances of the origin of certain paintings.