Sterling Ruby tapestries are a thing of beauty, and people who have been lucky to have laid their eyes on them would back up this claim instantly. Sterling Ruby is one of the most controversial, enigmatic, and most unpredictable figures in the world of art. The artist based in Los Angeles works in a number of media, from the poured urethane sculptures, large spray-painted canvases, glazed biomorphic ceramics, collages, videos, and even nail polish drawings! This variety makes Ruby one of the most interesting personas on the world art scene, and his first European survey is focused on the works that analyze the military history and politics of Prince Eugene of Savoy. In a Winterpalais exhibition in Vienna, Austria, a series of Sterling Ruby tapestries will be presented in the grand room of the venue, constructing a conceptual and visual oxymoron against the celebration of warfare in the gorgeous building.
Sterling Ruby is without a doubt one of the most innovative and influential artists of the 1970s generation, and he still remains one of the most prolific creators today. Through his varied practice, the artist performs an assault on the traditional materials used for the production of art, and he attacks the social structures imposed by the controlling few. He depicts subjects that include those on the margins of the society, he depicts maximum-security prisons, modernist architecture, bodybuilders, graffiti, antiquities and artefacts, the warfare mechanisms, urban gangs and cults. He creates works related to art history, autobiography, and the pressures and the violence within the society. In the process, he juxtaposes the tarnished and the pristine, the minimalist and the expressionist, and the static and the fluid.
The luxuriously decorated baroque rooms of the Winterpalais, the former residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy fits perfectly into the context of Ruby’s exhibition, as it is extraordinary and exceptionally unique, due to the striking contrast between the two aesthetics and the two historical periods. The exhibition is, indeed, a survey of Ruby’s work throughout his rich career, and it draws focus on the artworks in which the military rhetoric and imperialism are explored and analyzed through a number of media. Within the context of Prince Eugene’s military history and politics, a series of Sterling Ruby tapestries will be on display, specifically created for this exhibition, which will be hung like baroque or Renaissance tapestries in the glorious rooms of the palace, juxtaposing the irony and tragedy of Prince Eugene’s warfare legacy in the building.
Sterling Ruby tapestries will be on display at Belvedere from July 8th to October 26th, 2016. The opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, July 7th from 7 PM, and the press conference will be held on the same day at 10 AM. The exhibition is curated by Mario Codognato. Sterling Ruby is an American artist whose works belong to the public collections of Museum of Modern Art in New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Tate, London, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, to name a few. The Winterpalais was built by Prince Eugene of Savoy himself and is located in the city center of Vienna, Austria at Himmelpfortgasse 8.
Featured image: Sterling Ruby - Sandal (4828), 2014, Photo by Robert Wedemeyer, Courtesy Sterling Ruby Studio
Images in the slider: Sterling Ruby - MS42-3034, 2010, Photo by Robert Wedemeyer, Courtesy Sterling Ruby Studio | Sterling Ruby - CANDLE (5650), 2015, Photo by Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy Sterling Ruby Studio | Hall of Battle Paintings at the Winterpalais, Photo Oskar Schmidt, © Belvedere, Vienna