Los Angeles based artist Sterling Ruby is currently exhibiting a new collection of work at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in West Chelsea, New York.
'SUNRISE SUNSET' is a vast collection of paintings, collages, tapestries, and sculptures made from an array of materials that represent Ruby's successes, failed attempts as well as pieces that have potential for reappropriation. All gargantuan in size, placed in unison with the 24,700 square foot gallery space that Hauser & Wirth boasts.
The title of the exhibit and the works on display portray the parallels ever present in Ruby's life and the current state of the world; permanence and temporality, life and death, innocence and evil, as well as abstract and representational themes.
'Trough', originally serviced Ruby as a tray used to catch urethane run-off in his studio. It was since refashioned into a macabre depiction of a bronze grave bed. 'Big Yellow Mama' first serves as a playful, bright yellow sculpture reminiscent of a chair seen from the perspective of a baby, however it's true representation is of the electric chair used in the state of Alabama for executions dating from 1927 - 2003. The work is a paradox on what it means to be be a free American under the threat of the judicial system, and their ultimate power over life and death.
One of the most notable works in the exhibit, 'The Cup' is an enormous sculpture of a teacup, coated in thick, red, flowing stalactites of foam polymer, tilted from it's handle. The cup is suspended in the fleeting moment between containing and pouring out liquid, a parallel between a very temporal and eternal place in time. 'The Cup' is complemented by 'Pillars', a series of modern looking columns coated in the same substance as the teacup, the stalactites age the columns significantly, which reads as a juxtaposition between our relationship between ancient history and present day architecture. Due to their bloody, dripping textures, these everyday objects becomes exponentially more violent upon closer inspection.
Sterling Ruby currently works out of his 'vessel', a studio located in Los Angeles. His work specifically centres around mainstream and sub cultures present in modern America, ranging from prison systems, graffiti art to embroidery, as well as conservative and liberal states. His work has been showcased throughout Europe and North America. He is also consecutively the subject of shows at The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Whitney Biennial.
'SUNRISE SUNSET' will be on display until July 25, 2014.
- Hauser & Wirth, 511 W 18th St, New York, NY