Curated by Sterling Ruby
Fondazione Memmo – Arte Contemporanea is proud to announce CHRON II, an exhibition by the American artist Sterling Ruby. CHRON II presents more than 70 artworks selected by the artist from his personal collection and represents over a decade of artistic production. The exhibition will be on show between the 24th of May 2013 and the 15th of September 2013 at the historical Palazzo Ruspoli. Admission is free. This is the second exhibition from Fondazione Memmo’s new program dedicated to contemporary art. Coordinated by Cloé Perrone, this exhibition is promoted by the Fondazione with special thanks to Fabiana Marenghi Vaselli and Anna d’Amelio.
In 2008, the artist presented CHRON, a selection of works on paper at The Drawing Center in New York, which highlighted drawing and design in the artist’s practice. CHRON II emphasizes the significant role of collage within Ruby’s interdisciplinary artistic practice, both from a material and allegorical perspective. The artist describes collage as an “illicit merger,” highlighting what he sees as the inherently transgressive nature of the medium.
The artwork exhibited draws the viewer into the continuing formal and thematic obsessions of the artist, from hip-hop to horror, from prison systems to public sculpture, from art and craft to existentialism. Prison (2004), is an early example of the artist’s use of prison as subject. The splattered nail polish in works like Mapping (2008) and Scratch / Chanel La Vernis (2008) can be connected to the splattered urethane of the EXHM series (2011-2013). The transcendental implications of the HEAD TREKKERS series, with its motif of skulls as planet, is continued in the artist’s most recent series, DRFTRS (2013), in which images of engines, skulls, caves, burial grounds, crafted pillows, movie monsters, and a marked up Helter Skelter album cover seem to float in faded layers of paint. Channelling aggressive and uncomfortable imagery, Ruby creates works that are all the more intriguing in their often unexpected beauty.
Sterling Ruby was born in Bitburg, Germany in 1972 and now lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His major solo exhibitions include Soft Work, which opened at Centre D’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2012) and travelled to FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2012) and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2012); Grid Ripper, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo (2008); Supermax (2008), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2008), and CHRON, The Drawing Center, New York (2008). He will have a solo show at Museum Dhont-Dhaenens, Ghent, Belgium in the fall of 2013.
In conjunction with the Fondazione Memmo – Arte Contemporanea exhibition, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO) celebrates Sterling Ruby by presenting SOFT WORK, a solo show opening Tuesday the 21st of May 2013 at 7pm, and on view from the 22nd of May to the 15th of September 2013 at the Testaccio location (Piazza O. Giustiniani 4, Rome). The exhibition, conceived by the artist as a single work, is composed by large “soft sculptures”, most of which are created specifically for an evocative and original setting. In addition, Ruby will give a lecture at the MACRO auditorium (Via Nizza) on Wednesday the 22nd of May 2013 at 6pm.