Peter Ruta is an American painter of
landscapes and cityscapes. He signs his work "Ruta" or not at all.
Born 1918 into a Leipzig family of writers,
musicians and art publishers, Ruta was raised in Milan and on the
Italian Riviera and emigrated to the United States in 1936. He began
his studies at the Art Students League in 1937 with Jean Charlot, the
artist who taught Italian fresco technique to the great Mexican
the position of division artist in the Second World War, Ruta chose
combat duty with the infantry (Indiana National Guard) and was badly
wounded in the retaking of Bataan in 1945. Returning to Italy post-war,
he completed his studies on a Fulbright grant and painted for many
years in the then poor fishing village of Positano on the Amalfi coast.
The émigré neo Romantics he had met in New York City before the war,
Italian baroque and Pompeian wall paintings, influenced his work.
New York City in the 1960s, he edited ARTS magazine and joined the Pop
movement with paintings based on news photos. But by 1970 he had
returned to his first love, landscape painting.
He has painted in
France, Italy, southern Mexico (1970s), New Mexico (1980s and1990s),
New England and New York City, where he shared a collective studio on
the 9lst floor of the World Trade Center, North Tower in 2000 and 2001.
An outdoor painter by temperament and
conviction, he has been known to tie himself to a tree on a steep slope
in New Mexico or work right through the bitter winter on a New York
rooftop. He paints every day of the week, from midday till sundown, in
a race against the failing light. Since 2002 he has worked on a series
of vital, mysterious still life paintings , mountainous heaps of fruit
and vegetables, indoor landscapes so to speak.
have celebrated Ruta’s remarkable career with major retrospective shows
at the Museum of the City of New York (2004) and the
Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig (2008). A show in Italy is in the
The website of the artist, http://www.peterruta.com