Washington Post: In the Galleries - Rush Baker IV
By Mark Jenkins
April 15, 2022
History is mostly submerged, but occasionally visible, in Rush Baker IV’s recent paintings. “American Sunset,” the Hyattsville painter’s show at Hemphill Artworks, was partly inspired by Tony Horwitz’s book “Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War.” The results include three canvases titled “Harpers Ferry” and one called “John Brown.”
Baker paints with acrylics, augmenting the brightly hued pigment with plaster and resin, and sometimes paper and spray paint. He layers the materials, sands the surface and then repeats the process multiple times. “It’s a matter of adding and subtracting compositional elements until the painting reveals itself to me,” the artist says in an interview published by the gallery.
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Rush Baker IV: American Sunset Interview
Interview with George Hemphill
Exhibition on view March 19 - April 30, 2022
HEMPHILL is pleased to share an interview with Rush Baker IV conducted by George Hemphill on the occasion of the exhibition American Sunset. Please find an excerpt below.
George Hemphill: Often, the organization of the picture plane in your paintings has circular movement, a spinning, a feeling of centrifuge, of things coming apart?
Rush Baker IV: Yes and no. It’s more of a reorganization of elements. It’s organized chaos. The collaged elements usually give the works a certain compositional structure. The initial layering of paint and plaster act as a disruption of that language, and then it’s a matter of revealing what the painting really wants to be. The gestures, especially in the larger works, mimic the movement of my physical range of motion.
As Galleries Return to Normal, One Group Show Thinks Big
For OPEN on K, Hemphill in Washington D.C. asked artists to bring their biggest ideas.
By Kriston Capps
November 11, 2021.
For Open on K, Hemphill asked artists to bring their biggest ideas. That’s a promising gallery provocation for this moment of return to not-quite-normalcy. Rush Baker appears to have found urgent inspiration in the Black Lives Matter protests for racial justice in the summer of 2020, but his paintings also point indirectly to the inchoate rage of the January 6 insurrection, with which the United States has yet to reckon. Many other artists — and many of the rest of us — spent months looking inward. Stepping back into the gallery after so many months of not seeing or showing or socializing marks an important moment, one in which we may see what’s changed.
Arlington Arts Center: STRETCHED
March 27 - June 5, 2021
Stretched presents an expanded perspective on contemporary painting, featuring nine artists whose work is rooted in but transcends the medium. Ranging from work on canvas to large-scale installation, the exhibition emphasizes the expansive and multi-faceted approach taken by contemporary artists who work with paint as part of their practice.
Featured Artists: Amna Asghar, Rushern Baker IV, Erick Antonio Benitez, Mark Joshua Epstein, Saskia Fleishman, Jen Noone, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Madeline A. Stratton, and Rives Wiley
This coloring book was created during the shelter-in-place period of 2020. Thanks to the artists for their participation and inspiration. Art endures and so will we. Be well and thank you for continued support.
Post-World Politics: Rushern Baker IV’s Bold Abstractions are Fraught with Urgency and Anxiety
April 27, 2019
By Victoria L. Valentine, Culture Type
Reviews - Rushern Baker IV: Post-World at HEMPHILL Fine Arts
April 22, 2019
Phil Hutinet, East City Art