An Artful Future: Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Plans Range of Exhibitions – By Eddie Rivera, Editor, WEEKENDR Magazine

Mar 3, 2024

Settling into Pasadena after nearly four decades on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is now planning for the future with a new exhibition featuring a wide range of established modern and contemporary artists.

The new exhibition, “Collector’s Choice,” which will hold its opening reception on Sunday, September 10, is a collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures from some of the world’s most recognizable artists, along with some lesser known, but no less important works.

As Rutberg noted, “People don’t realize that you can own a work by Goya —an original work by Goya — for less. I’m talking about an etching now, an original etching, for less than you would pay for nearly every contemporary major artist today. I just acquired ‘The Little Prisoner’ by Goya, which is about $800. I mean, most people wouldn’t think they can partake in this way.”

According to Rutberg, his gallery collection spans about 150 years, and all the works are “befitting a museum collection.”

Among his vast collection of paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints are works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, David Hockney, Diego Rivera, Larry Rivers, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Francis, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol, among others. He also represents Jordi Alcaraz, Patrick Graham, Ruth Weisberg, Jerome Witkin, Joel-Peter Witkin, and the estates of Reuben Nakian and Francisco Zuñiga.

Presenting works that are complementary to the works in local museums and making those works available to the community, said Rutberg, “Offers all of us a unique opportunity that local residents have not had. Our patronage, our patrons make up people from all over, not just Southern California, but internationally. This is a place to engage works of art without any kind of commitment or responsibility, just for the sheer joy of sharing.”

While the collection currently showing is the first official exhibition of the beginning of the art season for the gallery, Rutberg is excited about mounting a host of new shows moving forward.

“All I need is time, space, and the calendar,” he noted, hopefully. “But what I hope to do at one point is to indeed present artists that will surprise people that they have some connection to Pasadena.”

But for the longtime gallery owner, it’s equally important to have the works in proximity to recognized art communities as well as educational institutions like Art Center and Caltech.

“We’re not just talking about dollars and cents here,” he said, “we cover the territory, and really pride ourselves on being accessible and educating people. So it goes far beyond commerce, although we’re dependent upon it to sustain ourselves.”

Elaborating on the theme, Rutberg said, “I think what’s so important to know is that we are here, and shockingly we are the very first gallery that the Pasadena, San Marino area has ever had that keys in on artists that could, would, should, and are, represented in all of these museums. There’s nothing that we exhibit here in terms of artists’ works that the artist is not represented by museums locally, nationally, or internationally.”

As Rutberg encapsulated, “I think that this is a blank slate just waiting for wonderful engagements of contributors and patrons.”

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is at 600 South Lake Avenue, #102, Pasadena, CA. (323)938-5222.