Adieu ~ till we meet again, Jack Rutberg Fine Arts 5

When you gotta go, you gotta go. But when you gotta come back, please send us your new address, Jack Rutberg Fine Arts!

The estimable art gallery where we have enjoyed so many wonderful exhibits, opening receptions, chamber music concerts, lectures and art talks — all punctuated by learning and laughter — will close its doors after 37 years on LaBrea Avenue. On that grand Los Angeles boulevard, Rutberg’s pearl white gallery sits, until mid-September, amidst what remains of LaBrea’s small-business culture: an orthodox Jewish synogogue, an Indian curry house and a Bavarian brauhaus next door.


The move is not for Rutberg’s lack of luster or ebbing of passion for introducing artists and artworks to the Los Angeles public. It is the city’s insane real estate bubble that has done the gallery in. Rutberg, still in his prime and far from retiring, is seeking new digs to enter a new epoch.

Our lives have been much enriched by the classy and comprehensive exhibitions by Rutberg’s highly selective stable of artists: among them Hans Burkhardt, Ruth Weisberg, Patrick Graham, Jordi Alcaraz (who enjoys the gallery’s final show closing soon on August 31), Francisco Zuniga, Jerome Witkin, Clare Falkenstein (whose stunning show in 2012 was a personal favorite), as well as curatorial books for all shows. Rutberg, an indefatigable, passionate, and most articulate gallerist, has been completely successful in imprinting these names into our arts awareness.

A luminous presence in the gallery has been the boss’s right-hand woman and wife (also his best friend and unfailing supporter, he recently informed me), Mary Lou Rutberg. A pleasure to know Mary Lou, and in addition, to deal with all the talented personnel working at 357 N. LaBrea Avenue.

Of all these fond and wonderful memories, naturally the zenith was Jack’s kind hosting of arts·meme‘s fifth anniversary party in 2013. A generous act by this menschy man topped by his return to our tenth anniversary party, in July, to deliver more warm words about the arts blog.

Thanks for the memory, Jack. Now, hit the road!

Jordi Alcaraz Defying Boundaries | Jack Rutberg Fine Arts | thru Aug 31

5 thoughts on “Adieu ~ till we meet again, Jack Rutberg Fine Arts

  1. Joy J. Rotblatt Aug 30,2018 2:06 pm

    I hope we don’t have to wait too long to hear where your new gallery space will be. I look forward to visiting and continuing to see the fabulous artists you represent.

  2. Kent Bulza Aug 27,2018 3:59 pm

    Loved seeing Clare Falkenstein’s work a few years back. Some time later I spent time on the Oregon Coast and instantly saw in moss there the forms that influenced work I had just seen at your gallery.

    Best of luck on the search for a new gallery home!

  3. Olga Garay-English Aug 27,2018 3:55 pm

    We went to see Jack Saturday to bid his space (but certainly not him) adieu.

    He is such a force in LA’s contemporary arts world. When I was ED of the DCA, we had a collaborative relationship with CultureIreland and took a dozen museum leaders and gallerists from LA to Dublin to encourage exchanges of exhibitions leading up to the year of Ireland in the U.S. This was around 2011.

    Jack was prominent in our delegation given his stalwart support of Irish visual artists. Since then we have developed a mutual admiration society.

    We HAD to go see Jordi’s exhibition – the last at Jack’s fabulous space – but more importantly to hear Jack’s precious, profound and plentiful reminiscences of his time as a leading gallerist in our city.

  4. debra levine Aug 27,2018 2:50 pm

    Beautiful sentiment and historic perspective from Patrick Scott. Thank you, Patrick

  5. Patrick Scott Aug 27,2018 2:47 pm

    The history of the Rutberg Gallery is deeply enmeshed in the cultural life of Los Angeles. So many shows have grown out of Jack’s passionate and intelligent understanding of what is important to know about and experience here. Of recent memory was the revelatory and historically important Joel and Peter Witkin show. Jack has been a major contributor to our city’s emergence as an important international art destination, and I trust that his drive and passion will keep a new gallery making waves. May it open soon!

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