Casimir Rutkowski moved to the East End in the 1970's to pursue an art career that began with studies at the Art
Student's League of New York in the 1960's. During his first year on Long Island, he was awarded a First Prize in Painting at Guild Hall Museum's annual show. For the years following and up until his death last year, Casimir painted steadily and passionately from studios in East Hampton and later Water Mill.
After growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania and attending Penn State University, Casimir's initial art instructors were Richard Goetz in Oklahoma and Henry Hensche at the Cape School of Art in Provincetown. For several years he was artist-in-residence at Westark College in Fort Smith, Arkansas. While there he was also the Director of the Fort Smith Art Center, worked as a fine art restorer and framer, and visited students in the public school system, giving fun introductions to the visual arts and music. Several painters that Rutkowski invited to exhibit in Fort Smith became his introduction to the art scene of Long Island and encouraged his own development as a landscape painter. Through the work of Wolf Kahn, Paul Georges, and Jane Wilson he was exposed to the group of figurative painters in the Hamptons that sprang up in the wake of abstract expressionism.
Casimir's pictures are mostly plein aire landscapes, painted in traditional oil on canvas, which capture the variety of local scenery, seasonal colors, and evanescent light of this area. As evidenced by the set of Italian landscapes in this exhibit, he painted outside the Hamptons as well. But it was the visual qualities of the East End that became the focus of his work throughout his life. Though figurative, his paintings reflect a preoccupation with the nuances of composition reinforced by gestural, layered brushwork and surprising pure color fields.
In print, Casimir is featured in Ronald Pisano's "Long Island Landscape Painting" alongside the work of contemporaries he admired and that of the painters who had drawn him to this area to begin with. For over 25 years his paintings have been exhibited in numerous local galleries and museums. He has been the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Academy of Design, the Parrish Art Museum, and Guild Hall Museum.
Casimir Rutkowski's work was exhibited summer 2006 at the Giraffics Gallery of East Hampton, New York.
"Long Island Landscape, Ronald G. Pisano Collection of Contemporary Long Island Landscape," The Long Island Museum, Stony Brook, NY 2002
"Porter Freilicher, Rutkowski, MacWhinnie," Clark Fine Arts, Southampton, NY 2001
"Long Island: Morning, Noon & Night," The Long Island Museum, Stony Brook, NY 2001
"Casimir Rutkowski, Paintings of Water Mill," Water Mill Museum, Water Mill, NY 1999
"Country Pleasures," Heckscher Museum, Huntington, NY 1998
"By the Sea, Oil Paintings Done on Location," Giraffics Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1998
"East End Bays and Ocean," Water Mill Museum, Water Mill, NY 1998
"The Montauk Bluff Series," Mark Humphrey Gallery, Southampton, NY 1996
"The Spirit of Peace II," Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1996
"Local Color," Gallery North, Setauket, NY 1996
"The Spirit of Place," Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1995
"Landscape Today," Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY 1994
"Beach Paintings," Mark Humphrey Gallery, Southampton, NY 1994
"Long Island Landscape - A New Era," Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1994
"Artists View Long Island," Gallery North, Setauket, NY 1994
"Lennox Hill Artists Forum," Cornell Medical Library, NY 1992
"167th Annual Exhibit," National Academy of Design, NY 1992
"Hamptonscapes," Water Mill Museum, Water Mill, NY 1991
"Artists for a United World," Dag Hammerskjold Library, UN Plaza, NY 1991
"Artists for a United World," Tibor DeNagy Gallery, NY 1991
"Group for the South Fork," Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1991
"Long Island Landscape Painting in the 20th Century," Heckscher Art Museum, Huntington, NY 1990
"Long Island Landscape," in conjunction with the Staller Art Center and Heckscher Museum, Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1990
"Landscapes," Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1989
"Art & Cuisine Dinner," L'Ecole French Culinary Institute, NY 1988 "Agricultural Cathedrals," Gallery North, Setauket, NY 1988
"The Environment," Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY 1987
"Sounds in the Grass," Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1987
"10th Season," Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY 1987