Fusing the frenetic energy of her native Los Angeles with the atmospheric expanse of the American Midwest where she was raised, Sherry Rinderer’s paintings are large-scale abstractions where acrylic pigments are transformed into a watery wash evocative of figures in movement occupying an infinitely expansive landscape. In Rinderer’s works, the formalism of Abstract Expressionism, which highlighted the materiality of paint on canvas, comes to the fore in a way that acknowledges the pervasive influence of our social environment, and how it conditions our perception of the world today.
However abstract and expressive, Rinderer’s paintings feel very much of our time, rather than coming across as simulacra of paintings made sometime during mid-century. Some of Rinderer’s paintings can even be said to resemble the singular composition of pixelated computer screens, while still involving the play of light and darkness, pigment and tactility, which are the hallmarks of 20th century painting.
Oftentimes shading into design, Rinderer’s works tend to have a memorial quality about them, as they revisit some historical event or personal memory that struck the artist as deeply important. Her take on abstraction can be viewed as capturing an extraordinary aspect of a moment or event. This synoptic take on a subject abstracted from its environing context is a deliberate move on the artist’s part, and allows viewers to interactively enter into a work, discovering their own meaning in a canvas.
Distinguishing Rinderer’s paintings from other brands of abstraction is their object-like quality. She regularly creates pictures where figure and ground meld seamlessly together. What viewers are left with is the material surface of the canvas, which is strategically altered to allow for the free-association of ideas. In this way, her expressive use of multicolored tones, even when they derive from an exterior landscape, can seem to recall the interiority of an enclosed space.