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Ruth Root

Ruth Root. From April 2 to May 19, 2016


Galería Marta Cervera is pleased to present new paintings by Ruth Root, the New York-based artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.


Ruth Root’s new works are two-fold, encompassing both a designed and digitally printed fa- bric and a painted, shaped Plexiglas element. Root distills abstraction to its components, color, shape, mark, and material, treating each work as its own site of investigation. In some works, the painted elements mirror Root’s fabrics. However, these fabrics maintain their own distinct logic, allowing for a contrast between digital repetition and the handmade repetition of paint, whether it is spray, airbrush, or enamel. Utilizing the conventional materials of painting, soft fabric, hard supports, screws, and brushstrokes, Root interchanges their understood functions, creating new forms.


This practice represents simultaneously a departure and continuation of Root’s past works, which similarly challenged painting’s apparatus. In previous works, Root painted fields of color on ultra-thin aluminum sheeting. Drawing on art historical references, Root utilized shape and color to experiment with the ways in which these elements shaped the space around them. Hung flush on the wall as to make their support invisible, these works inserted themselves into the gallery architecture and as a result and encompassed the negative space of the wall as part of the work’s overall composition. Acting in tandem, these works functioned both to complicate their own influences, as well as the exhibition space itself. 


In addition to the considered spontaneity that characterizes Root’s new works, the fabric element of Root’s new works mark their largest departure, as they allow for the painting’s support to come to the forefront. Cutting and sewing these into shapes of their own, which continue or contradict the form of the shaped Plexiglas, the fabric wrap and hold the painted elements through distinct looping methods, allowing the works to float from the wall. Through this, the paintings perform a reversal, as they utilize a soft support for a hard surface, upending conventions of painting. In turn, these works exist in a tenuous yet generative balance, allowing for a tension that creates a new experience of the works environment.


Ruth Root’s work is the subject of solo exhibitions including Old, Odd & Oval, at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, (Ridgefield, Connecticut) in 2015, and 356 S. Mission Road, (Los Angeles, California) in 2016. Her work is currently on view as part of New York Painting, Kunstmuseum Bonn, (Bonn, Germany.) Root’s work has previously been presented at Dartmouth College, (Hanover, New Hampshire), The Suburban, (Oak Park, Illinois ), MoMA PS1, ArtPace, (San Antonio, Texas), LACMA, (Los Angeles, California), and the Seattle Art Museum.

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