Sterling Ruby’s work engages with issues related to autobiography, art history, and the violence and pressures within society. Employing diverse aesthetic strategies and mediums—including sculpture, drawing, collage, ceramics, painting, and video—he examines the tensions between fluidity and stasis, Expressionism and Minimalism, the abject and the pristine.
Born on Bitburg Air Base, Germany, to an American father and a Dutch mother, Ruby moved at a young age to the United States, where he grew up on a farm in southeastern Pennsylvania. There he encountered Amish quilt-making and Pennsylvania redware pottery, both of which directly inspired his initial forays into garment-making, soft sculpture, and ceramics. Ruby graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, in 1996. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002, followed by an MFA from the ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 2005.
Living and working in Los Angeles, Ruby draws endless inspiration from the city’s physical and conceptual landscape. A subseries of the SP paintings (2007–14), the VIVIDS (2014), are electric color fields inspired by the shifting, multihued skies that he encounters on his way to the studio, while the SUBMARINE (2015) and TABLES (2015 –19) series were created from hulking industrial parts sourced nearby. Ruby’s work often deals with the ways in which acts of defacement, like urban demarcation and graffiti, can produce a painterly sublime. Both in his YARD paintings (2015–16) and in his WIDW paintings (2016–), he taps into the speed and motion of collage, incorporating bleached fabric and cardboard scraps and combining abstract color fields with fragments of studio refuse. Continually pushing the boundaries between artistic mediums, Ruby launched a ready-to-wear clothing line in 2019.
Extended through February 19, 2022
November 20, 2021–February 19, 2022
Augurs of Spring
As spring approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, Sydney Stutterheim reflects on the iconography and symbolism of the season in art both past and present.
Sterling Ruby: Disjointed Monuments to Nothing
Alessandro Rabottini investigates the theoretical and formal underpinnings of Sterling Ruby’s career through the lens of the artist’s series ACTS.
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2019
The Fall 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Sinking (2019) by Nathaniel Mary Quinn on its cover.
An exhibition at Gagosian, Paris, is raising funds to aid in the reconstruction of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris following the devastating fire of April 2019. Gagosian directors Serena Cattaneo Adorno and Jean-Olivier Després spoke to Jennifer Knox White about the generous response of artists and others, and what the restoration of this iconic structure means across the world.
Sterling Ruby: Bloody Pots
Ceramics expert Garth Clark explores Sterling Ruby’s practice in the medium, addressing the work’s allegiances and divergences from tradition.
Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2018
The Winter 2018 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available. Our cover this issue comes from High Times, a new body of work by Richard Prince.
Sterling Ruby: Winterpalais, Vienna
Mario Codognato, curator of the exhibition, discusses Sterling Ruby’s first-ever European survey, at the Belvedere’s Winterpalais galleries.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2022
December 1–3, 2022, Booth D5
Miami Beach Convention Center
Gagosian is pleased to present a selection of modern and contemporary works at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Returning to Miami for the fair’s twentieth anniversary, the gallery is honored to have participated each year the fair has been held.
Sarah Sze, Left Field (Times Zero), 2019 © Sarah Sze
Art Basel Hong Kong 2022
May 27–29, 2022, booth 1C15
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2022 with an ensemble of contemporary works by international artists. The gallery’s presentation will feature works by artists including Georg Baselitz, Louise Bonnet, Edmund de Waal, Urs Fischer, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jennifer Guidi, Simon Hantaï, Hao Liang, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Tetsuya Ishida, Alex Israel, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Rick Lowe, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Nam June Paik, Giuseppe Penone, Rudolf Polanszky, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, Jim Shaw, Rudolf Stingel, Spencer Sweeney, Rachel Whiteread, and Zeng Fanzhi.
Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Georg Baselitz; © Louise Bonnet; © Zeng Fanzhi; © 2019 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved; © Rudolf Stingel. Photo: Martin Wong
West Bund Art & Design 2021
November 12–14, 2021, booth A102
West Bund Art Center, Shanghai
Gagosian is pleased to participate in the eighth edition of West Bund Art & Design. The gallery will present works by Balthus, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Glenn Brown, Helen Frankenthaler, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Tetsuya Ishida, Alex Israel, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Nam June Paik, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Rudolf Stingel, Spencer Sweeney, Zao Wou-Ki, and Zeng Fanzhi, among others.
To receive a pdf with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tetsuya Ishida, Untitled (Planting Trees), 2000 © Estate of Tetsuya Ishida
Closing this Week
A Project in Four Acts
Opening April 20, 2022
Berggruen Arts & Culture, Venice
The Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust has acquired the Palazzo Diedo in Venice, which will be converted into a venue for exhibitions and artist residencies as part of the new Berggruen Arts & Culture initiative. To bring the palazzo to life during its renovation and make its new role visible to the public, the institution has named Sterling Ruby its inaugural artist-in-residence. Ruby is creating a multiyear site-specific installation titled A Project in Four Acts. The first phase is a relief structure, HEX (2022), that leans across the façade of the building, on view concurrently with the 59th Biennale di Venezia. As construction commences, he will stage two exterior installations enclosing the building as it transforms. The residency will conclude with an exhibition of Ruby’s work at Palazzo Diedo in conjunction with its official opening in spring 2024.
Sterling Ruby, HEX, 2022, installation view, Berggruen Arts & Culture, Venice © Sterling Ruby. Photo: Andrea Avezzù
Sterling Ruby in
In America: A Lexicon of Fashion
September 18, 2021–September 5, 2022
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Launching a two-part exploration of fashion in the United States, the exhibition In America: A Lexicon of Fashion at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art establishes a modern vocabulary of American fashion based on its expressive qualities. This first half of the exhibition uses the organizing principle of a patchwork quilt, which serves as a metaphor for varied cultural identities in the United States. Approximately one hundred men’s and women’s ensembles by a range of designers from the 1940s to the present are featured. Work by S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA./Sterling Ruby is included.
VEIL FLAG by S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA./Sterling Ruby
Sterling Ruby in
Contre-nature: La céramique, une épreuve du feu
May 21–September 4, 2022
MO.CO. Panacée, Montpellier, France
This exhibition, whose title translates to Against Nature: Ceramics, a test of fire, presents ceramics less as folklore and more as modeling, alchemy, technique, and magic where insolent, hybrid shapes made of clay and enamel compose a luxuriant, original, mysterious, troubling, and sometimes hallucinatory world. Work by Sterling Ruby is included.
Sterling Ruby, FLOWER (7852), 2021 © Sterling Ruby. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer
Textiles de Artistas
March 12–June 19, 2022
Fundacíon Barrié, A Coruña, Spain
This exhibition explores the history of twentieth-century art through fabrics designed by artists, with unique examples from artistic movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Pop art. Comprised of more than one hundred works, the show presents an important overview of weaving as a popular art form in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe. Work by Alexander Calder, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Sterling Ruby, and Andy Warhol is included.