Image Courtesy of the Wassaic Project
I am a mixed media sculptor who stretches the scale of human anatomy to explore our inborn vulnerabilities. Seductive, steely mirrored eyeballs survey the gallery, playing on notions of seeing and being seen and mixing up autonomy and control. Oversized tongue banners hang mute like the flags of feckless nations and force a grotesque and unearned intimacy. Dancing disembodied ears eavesdrop in the gallery, while giant alienated smiles grin down on viewers. Targeting the symbolism of body parts, my sculptural interventions insert viewers into relational situations that slice through conventions and refashion social taboos.
As hybrid absurdities, my sculptures blend digitally printed media and functional items in ways that elevate, subvert, or reimagine their intrinsic material properties. A midcentury armchair stuffed with popcorn sits in a cornfield, creating a faulty feedback loop between agricultural monocultures and the hegemony of Modernist design. Lounge chairs printed with images of wildfire-blotted skies beckon viewers to lounge in a metaphorical state of precarious leisure. A giant checkerboard of grass and artificial turf satirizes the American lawn as a banal and absurd symbol of late Capitalism. Playfully pointing to self-reinforcing distractions and the folly of consumerism, I seek humor and poetry in the contradictions of contemporary life.
Ruth's current and recent exhibitions include Precarious Leisure at Sacramento City College’s Kondos Gallery, OCCUPIED+ABSENT at Strauss Gallery at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, I Forgot to Laugh... at Carlow University Art Gallery, and Hello Stranger at the University Galleries at Sacramento State. Recent artist residencies include the Wassaic Project (2022) and Art Farm (2021), and the Residency Project (2020).
Ruth has exhibited at Practice Gallery, Philadelphia; Corcoran College of Art + Design; the Delaware Contemporary; Coop Gallery, Nashville; Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville; Root Division, San Francisco; and the University of the South, Sewanee, among others. Ruth’s artistic collaboration The Shaft, with Maiza Hixson, has performed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Soap Factory, Minneapolis; H.J. Miossi Gallery at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo; and the Koban Project, Baltimore. Ruth has been artist in residence at The Residency Project, Arteles Creative Center, ACRE Projects, Cannonball, Ox-bow, and the Recycled Artist in Residency in Philadelphia, and she has lectured and presented at Cranbrook Academy of Art, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Dartmouth College, Open Engagement, and SECAC. Ruth holds a BA in Studio Art with Honors from Dartmouth College and an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Ruth lives and works in Chico, CA and is an Associate Professor of Art at the California State University, Chico. She teaches courses in a variety of sculptural media and techniques, including traditional, performative, and emerging practices. Ruth's pedagogy is rooted in process, experimentation, and interdisciplinary exchange, with a current focus on the intersection of digital and analog processes and the performative potential of the body.