Rudolf Stüssi

City on Edge: painting

May 5 – 29, 2011

The core of this exhibition is a series of 5 large oil paintings. Each shows a neighbourhood on the cusp of change: Queen St. East (Queens East), the Entertainment District (Core Variance), Markham St. (Village Dance), the St. Lawrence Market Area (St. Lawrence Hall) and the Warehouse District (Warehouse). Each of these with the exception of St. Lawrence Hal is also represented by a watercolour version done in situ, used as a template for the oil, supplemented by photos, since the oils could not be done on location. All the oils and most of the watercolours in this series were painted over the last 8 months.

I focused particularly on light but colour and depth also play important roles. And of course my Fifth Perspective is an integral element of all the paintings, creating a whimsical but dynamic approach to the cityscape.


My Fifth Perspective is a fundamentally new development in perspective theory, away from the tyranny of the straight line common to the conventional perspectives such as isometric, 2 point or 3 point or even curvilinear. It allows movement, distortion, and believability without realism. I have published articles on it in American and German art magazines.

I am currently working on a new series of work titled R=LATIVITY, based on Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and combining it with the Fifth Perspective. This is a cross-disciplinary undertaking, a unique merging of art and science.

A film titled ‘Einstein & Eddington’ first tweaked my interest in some aspects of his physics. I read a biography and made my way through his Theory (tough going despite supposedly being written for laymen). His ideas on the bending of light and space, the variability of time, the spherical universe, and the increase of mass in proportion to speed, as well as some of his own surprising visual images (a being suspending a box holding a man, a train speeding past a lightning bolt, an infinite sphere of linked figures, etc.), seem to reflect and expand my own approach to perspective. Two works from this series that I consider works in progress are on display in this exhibition: The Spherical Universe, and Speed of Light. It’s not yet clear how many works will complete the series or when it will be completed.

Rudolf Stüssi