Sterling Ruby – Soft Work

Installation view, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims Photo Martin Argyrolglo

Installation view, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims Photo Martin Argyrolglo

 

MACRO – The Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome is pleased to present SOFT WORK, Sterling Ruby’s first solo show in Rome, from May 22 to September 15, 2013. Los Angeles based artist, Sterling Ruby has gained international recognition for his diverse creative practice; his research combines sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, and video.
SOFT WORK, which has already been shown at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva (February – April 2012), the Frac Champagne-Ardenne in Reims (May – August 2012) and at Stockholm’s Bonniers Konsthalle (December 2012 – March 2013), will come to Rome for its final leg in Europe, including new and site specific pieces created for the installation at MACRO Testaccio.
The exhibition, curated by Maria Alicata, and organized by Damiana Leoni with the contribution of Depart Foundation, was conceived by the artist as a single, large-scale work. The show features an installation of large pillow-like “soft sculptures”. Each iteration of this exhibition presents an increasingly overwhelming and accumulated mass of hanging and protruding monstrous soft sculptural bodies.
Pillows, blankets, and quilts are transformed from objects of comfort into sculptural objects that hint at the possibility that safety and security are an illusion. In doing so, the artist compromises the notion of the safety of the home, deeply rooted in American culture. Ruby’s work exploits these fears to contest the “American” vision of home: a safe place, a protective nest, a refuge.
Furthermore, using a traditionally “feminine” techniques, quilting and sewing – which hides a subtle irony on the concept of “masculinity” regarding domestic life – the artist presents wantonly menacing and aggressive forms behind a seemingly playful, pop facade. The gigantic pillows, shaped like water drops hanging from above are clearly reminiscent of tears (incidentally common imagery in prison tattoos) and suffering, whereas the large and open Vampire mouths allude to a voracious American consumerism.
Special thanks are due to the Sterling Ruby studio and Sprüth Magers Gallery (Berlin and London), and Xavier Hufkens Gallery (Brussels).
Sterling Ruby will take part of two other appointments : on Wednesday May 22, at 6 p.m, he will deliver a lecture at MACRO (via Nizza) whereas the FONDAZIONE MEMMO – ARTE CONTEMPORANEA (Palazzo Ruspoli, Via del Corso 418, Roma) will, on Friday May 24, present a large body of work from the artist’s own collection. The exhibition will be open to the public through September 15, 2013 featuring two dimentional works and collages from the last ten years, which the artist has personally chosen for the show.

Macro Testaccio – Piazza O. Giustiniani 4, Roma
May 22 -September 15
Opening: Tuesday May 21, 7 PM

Installation view, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims Photo Martin Argyrolglo

Installation view, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims Photo Martin Argyrolglo

 

Installation view, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims Photo Martin Argyrolglo

Installation view, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims Photo Martin Argyrolglo

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