Sterling Ruby’s work engages with issues related to the violence and pressures within society, autobiography, and art history. Drawing on diverse aesthetic strategies and mediums—glossy and color-saturated poured-polyurethane sculptures, drawings, collages, richly glazed ceramics, graffiti-inspired spray paintings, and video—he maintains a constant tension within a multitude of elements. Throughout, he vacillates between fluid and static, minimalist and expressionist, pristine and dirty. Of the diverse forms that constitute his oeuvre, the paintings are the most formally abstract. Ruby has long been influenced by the sociological implications of urban demarcation, vandalism, and the power struggles of gang graffiti. In his paintings, acts of defacement are transformed into a painterly sublime.
Ruby was born in 1972 on Bitburg Air Base, Germany. He graduated in 1996 from the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design, Lancaster, and went on to receive a BFA in 2002 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in 2005 from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. Recent solo exhibitions include CHRON, Drawing Center, New York (2008); SUPERMAX 2008, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2008); Grid Ripper, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy (2008–09); SOFT WORK, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2012, traveled to FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, France; and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm); CHRON II, Fondazione Memmo Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2013, traveled to Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany); DROPPA BLOCKA, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium (2013); Baltimore Museum of Art (2014); STOVES, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris (2015); Belvedere Museum, Vienna (2016); and Sterling Ruby: Ceramics, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (2018, traveling to Museum of Arts and Design, New York). Ruby’s work is featured in museum collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Quebec; Tate, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
Ruby participated in the Taipei, Gwangju, South Korea, and Whitney Biennials in 2014; and Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, the Hammer Museum’s third biennial.
Ruby lives and works in Los Angeles.
March 1–April 15, 2017
980 Madison Avenue, New York
October 21–December 19, 2015
Extended through March 25, 2016
October 18, 2015–March 25, 2016
September 13–October 25, 2014
From the Quarterly
Fairs, Events & Announcements
June 14–17, 2018
Messe Basel, booth B11
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel 2018, presenting works by modern and contemporary artists including Georg Baselitz, John Chamberlain, Dan Colen, John Currin, Willem de Kooning, Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Jennifer Guidi, Andreas Gursky, Neil Jenney, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Henri Matisse, Takashi Murakami, Giuseppe Penone, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Sterling Ruby, Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, Mark Tansey, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, and Tom Wesselmann. To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org. To preview our booth go to www.artsy.net. To purchase tickets to attend the fair go to www.artbasel.com.
Georg Baselitz, Frau am Strand (Woman on the Beach), 1981 © Georg Baselitz 2018
April 28–29, 2018, booth B8
Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Artmonte-Carlo 2018, presenting a selection of works by artists including Richard Artschwager, Davide Balula, Glenn Brown, Michael Craig-Martin, Edmund de Waal, Damien Hirst, Peter Lindbergh, Takashi Murakami & Virgil Abloh, Sterling Ruby, and Taryn Simon. To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at email@example.com. To preview our booth go to www.artsy.net. To purchase tickets to attend the fair go to www.artmontecarlo.ch.
Sterling Ruby, Heart (6634), 2018 © Sterling Ruby Studio. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer
Monday, April 23, 2018, 6:30–8pm
Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA
Sterling Ruby and Raf Simons, chief creative officer at Calvin Klein, will discuss their design collaborations. The two will be joined by Jessica Morgan, director of the Dia Art Foundation, for a conversation about the overlapping worlds of design, fashion, and contemporary art. To attend the free event, register at www.gsd.harvard.edu.
Photo: Weston Wells for Surface
Selections from the Lenhardt Collection
Through December 16, 2018
Phoenix Art Museum
Present Tense includes more than twenty paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures all drawn from the private collection of Dawn and David Lenhardt. The show places recent contemporary acquisitions by the Lenhardts in conversation with works by modern artists. Work by Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Sterling Ruby, and Andy Warhol is included.
Sterling Ruby, WIDW. BALLISTIC., 2017 © Sterling Ruby
October 3, 2018–March 17, 2019
Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Sterling Ruby’s areas of interest are numerous, but sculptures in clay have long played a fascinating and primary position in his broader studio work. Process and materiality are paramount for Ruby, and using these attributes has enabled him to create an extraordinary body of work that is engaging, intuitive, and subversive. This exhibition has traveled from the Des Moines Art Center.
Sterling Ruby, Brass Ketamine User, 2010 © Sterling Ruby. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer
June 9–September 9, 2018
Des Moines Art Center
Sterling Ruby’s areas of interest are numerous, but sculptures in clay have long played a fascinating and primary position in his broader studio work. Process and materiality are paramount for Ruby, and using these attributes has enabled him to create an extraordinary body of work that is engaging, intuitive, and subversive.
Installation view, Sterling Ruby: Ceramics, Des Moines Art Center, June 9–September 9, 2018 © Sterling Ruby
Sterling Ruby in
Regarding George Ohr: Contemporary Ceramics in the Spirit of the Mad Potter
November 21, 2017–April 8, 2018
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida
This exhibition brings together twenty-four unique major works by George Ohr, many never before exhibited in public, along with objects by contemporary artists working in the same vein. Work by Sterling Ruby is included.
Sterling Ruby, Basin Theology/HATRA, 2017
© Sterling Ruby. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer