About the Artist
Rachel Ostrow (b. 1977) is a Brooklyn-based painter and printmaker. She earned a B.A. in Fine Arts from Wesleyan University, a post-baccalaureate degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and an M.F.A. in painting from Hunter College. She has had solo exhibitions at Planthouse (Manhattan, NY), 42 Social Club (Lyme, CT), Sunday Takeout (Brooklyn, NY), The Kenan Center (Lockport, NY), John Davis Gallery, (Hudson, NY), Saffron (Brooklyn, NY), and Todojunto Gallery (Barcelona, Spain). She has been included in group exhibitions in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Montreal, Joshua Tree, CA, Great Barrington, MA and Ballinskelligs, Ireland.
She has been awarded residencies at the Gowanus Studio Space (Brooklyn, NY), The Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency (Joshua Tree, CA), The Millay Colony (Austerlitz, NY), The Kimmel Harding Nelsen Center (Nebraska City, NE) and the Cill Rialag Project (Ballingskelligs, Ireland).
Visual experience is often prescribed, codified and overstimulated. My paintings exist somewhere between what is recognizable and what is otherworldly or abstract. They indulge in the mystery, uncertainty and changeability of perception. Forms fall into and out of substance, space and light, giving authority to the viewer’s imagination to complete the experience.
Painting with a squeegee, I unearth images by spreading transparent paint around on a slippery panel. This process is physical and playful, like improvisational dance. I add paint with a brush and throw paint and mediums at the surface. Then, with varied speed, pressure and gesture, I push over those marks with the squeegee. When paint combines under pressure from the rubber blade, it mixes or blends based on its material properties. Oil paints are composed of different pigments and binders. When the colors are pushed together, they form detailed passages that are irregular and mimic the natural world.
The gesture of my mark is (somewhat) controlled, but the way the paint reacts underneath it is not. The paintings exist as physical records of movement, both natural and (wo)man-made. They embody the relationship between intention and chance, echoing the dynamic in our universe between order and chaos.