This blog is devoted to the work of artist Peter Ruta, 1918-2016. Ruta died November 16, 2016 after a brief illness. In his lifetime he painted at least 3000 works. Many are in museums and collections,in the US and Europe,  many more are in the studio in downtown New York. They were painted in Italy in the 1950s, New York in the 1960s, Mexico in the 70s, New Mexico in the 80s and 90s and in New York again, a non stop series of still life paintings, beginning in 2001. Ruta also painted New York City views, from the roof of a 12 story building in the West Village and from the 9lst floor of the North Tower World Trade Center, where he last worked in August 2001. His last New York view was destroyed in the 9/11 attack. Beginning in 2001 Ruta returned to Italy part time each year, painting in Rome and on the Amalfi coast. Some of all this will be posted here in coming weeks, a digital archive begun in 2011 and nearly complete now, carried out with the aid of other artists and assistants who all contributed their expertise and patience, Rebecca Bourgault, Erin Welch, Ariel Chernin, Andy Wellington, and lately and most efficiently Frans Westra. Thank you all for helping to make Ruta’s vast output easily accessible in pixels (do they still call them pixels?) An Italian art historian called on to write about Ruta for a 2009 show compared Ruta to Calvino’s Mr Palomar, a fictional character obsessed with knowledge derived from the power of sight. Concluding this way, “His soul rests in the landscape” As you will see from what unfurls here in weeks and months to come.

Posted on November 22, 2016

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