Quotes from reviews and essays:
"Formal concerns dominate the works, which depict objects such as blocks of wood or balls of string arranged as still-lifes, a single piece of asparagus, faintly described urban landscapes of concrete walls, and what might be fragments of interiors revealed only by shadows cast in corners—or perhaps not.
Mostly, the viewer is more comfortably drawn to the composition, not to the referent. Though a sense of place is almost overwhelmingly present throughout the works—which sometimes reveal distant telephone poles, but never, ever figures—this place is as intimate yet un-nameable as the high pitch of tinnitus that haunts the ears of the afflicted.
Which is not to say that the pieces are unpleasant. If one has a taste for the literally weird—the uncanny—and can tolerate that sense of loss that accompanies not being able to recall the name of a dear friend, they are quite nice. A lapse in memory may sometimes lead to the discovery of something atavistic, lurking in the past.
Rush's appropriation of these early photographers techniques and methods, however, underscores his idiosyncratic differences from them; his work is contemporary, yet out of time... They used photography as a means of bringing the strange and distant into the viewer's experience. Rush, on the other hand, reveals the strangeness in our own imagination."
- Scott Andrews, Texas Arts + Culture, February, 2014
"While it would be a vast oversimplification to say that Kent Rush's artwork is formalist, object-maker's rejection of these ideas, there is something immensely gratifying about the unstudied simplicity of his images, the low-tech way they are made, the quiet curiosity they arouse, and the sensual physicality of the photograph itself."
- Diana Roberts, "Kent Rush: InChoate and Sublime," (exhibition brochure),
Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, Texas, 2010.
"But Rush does not focus on such obvious ideas as portraiture and landscape. He prefers blatantly discarded signs of human existence – an eerie slideshow of urban decay. … By increasing the scale of the photograph, the most mundane subject may easily become majestic. The particular beauty achieved by these .. monochromatic prints, however, is far more abstruse and profound. The result is a series of painterly but minimalist compositions, reminiscent of Rothko, free from troublesome constraints of 'good' or 'bad' photography. In essence, these viscerally emotive images cease to be photographs in the classic sense."
- Anjali Gupta, “Found Abstraction,” Express News, June 4, 2001
“Kent Rush’s photographs also manipulate perception in the way they frame the world around us. His art makes monuments out of mole hills like the old masters of Northern Europe where all the world was staged, and when we had the time to seek and experience life in greater blocks of time.”
- D. Dominic Lombardi, “dArt International, Fall 2006
“Rush has immersed himself in an artistic process that has less to do with pictorial representation per se and more to do with ideas – as if Rush were trying to photograph the “aura” of a conceptual space within himself. … Yet Rush doesn’t catapult himself into the end zones of complex visual “embroidery” but remains hovering on the threshold of what I would call “the moment of vision”; a highly suggestive yet vague inner realm where sight and insight begin a conceptual dialog about what it might be like to “reinvent the representation of the world” from scratch.”
- Diane Armitage, THE Magazine, Santa Fe, December, 1993
“…in other words, his subjects achieve a kind of abstractness, the forms themselves as image having priority over where they came from or even what their functions as objects might be.”
- Jim Edwards, "Matrix Series I: Kate Petly/Kent Rush" (gallery guide essay).
“Rush is concerned with the relative potencies of photographic presentation, from the intimate to overwhelming with regard to scale and from the precious to the (seemingly) discardable with regard to product. He is interested in … a quality of evocative expression that is conveyed by attitudes of emotional and physiological empathy regarding that form.”
- Ron Glowen, Kent Rush: Forms and Attitudes.
San Antonio: San Antonio Art League (catalog essay), 1989.
“…underlying these murky and distressed surfaces, however, are sophisticated formal compositions. There is a visual tension in these works between representational subject matter and pure form. Rush works with a camera as a means of making images, rather than as a means of recording or representing the physical world.”
- Diana Gaston, "Kent Rush: Recent Works" (gallery guide essay).
Albuquerque: Fine Arts Museum, University of New Mexico, October, 1990.