Sterling Ruby “New Works”

Dates: Sep 18 – Oct 16, 2010
Opening reception: Saturday, Sep 18, 18:00 – 20:00


Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our first exhibition with Los Angeles based artist Sterling Ruby. For his show at Taka Ishii Gallery the artist is presenting a series of arrays, or variations on a theme. Throughout his practice the artist has confronted ideas of containment and liberation. Subverting both his materials and content, he forges work all the more intriguing by its often unexpected beauty.

These new groupings will include hand wrought bronzes on pedestals, framed collages on bright orange paper, soft-sculptures of vampire mouths, and square spatial vortexes made from the artist’s signature bleached fabric. The artist has cited the craft of quilt making as a visual cue for the repetitive, mimetic structure of this installation. The linear, geometric hanging of the show seeks to reiterate the repetitive patterns contained within each of the groupings. Additionally, the works presented make use of the combination of more traditional art making materials in the bronzes and collages, versus the domesticated or craft materials of the soft sculpture mouths and the square wall works.

In the set of collages entitled HEAD TREKKERS images of deep space are juxtaposed with human skulls similar to planets. These collaged arrangements conjure up visions of spatial head tripping and inevitable death. The SOFT VORTEX works also have a cosmic depiction, resembling a post-Minimalist tapestry lamenting the awareness of the void. The bronze sculptures relate closely to Ruby’s ceramic series, similarly they take on the psychology of art therapy projects and become monuments to a prior malleability. The last in the series of works are the VAMPIRES, fiber free-floating mouths with dripping fangs. These gaping oral cavities push Ruby’s interest in consumption and continue his proposal that art is a cyclical attempt at liberation.

An MFA graduate of the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Ruby has exhibited extensively internationally. Recent solo and group exhibitions include, “New Photography” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009), “Grid Ripper” at Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy (2008), “Stray Alchemist” at the Ullens Center of Contemporary Art, Beijing (2008), and “Supermax 2008” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, (2008). In 2009, Ruby designed the Tokyo boutique of Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons and later collaborated with Simons on a line of denim-wear. From July through October of 2010, Ruby’s work will be featured as part of the Setouchi Art Festival on the island of Megijima, Japan. In 2011, he will have a solo exhibition at The Pace Gallery, Beijing, China.

[Sterling Ruby artist talk event]
artist Sterling Ruby in (bilingual) conversation with critic Kentaro Ichihara
date : September 18th from 4:30 – 5:30pm
no entry fee / no reserved seating

[Sterling Ruby new publication]
CERAMICS 2007-2010
Published by Taka Ishii Gallery (2010), Limited edition, soft cover, essay by Kentaro Ichihara
available at the talk event.