Gina Ruggeri through material and immaterial
Gina Ruggeri teaches Drawing at Vassar and SUNY-Purchase. She received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art, and her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Ruggeri’s work explores its relationship to the spaces in which it appears: gallery, studio, or otherwise. Her trompe l’oeil vinyls create canyons, smoking craters and forests, all dissolving the gallery wall as they pull viewers’ eyes and minds deep into their illusionary recesses. Her recent exhibitions include a solo show in 2010 at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, which is conceived as a constellation of large-scale paintings on Mylar (polyester film or plastic sheet), cut out and attached flush to the Museum’s walls. The works depict imaginary landscape fragments that merge seamlessly with the gallery’s surfaces, activating the space. Surrounding the viewer from floor to ceiling, the images are rendered with dramatic spatial intensity, and take into account the viewer’s physical viewpoint.
Ruggeri’s work also oscillates between the material and the immaterial, and painting and drawing. Much of the immaterial quality emerges when we approach the painting and at close inspection it becomes a pattern of intimate marks, more like an abstract drawing, making us lose our grasp of the overall appearance.
As the works move from form to formlessness and back to form, they question the illusionary space not only of the paintings/drawings themselves, but of the museum as well. They remind us that not everything is what it seems—museums may not be what they seem! Ultimately, Ruggeri’s paintings/drawings are a catalyst for experiencing real and imagined environments through her impeccable work.
Crack, 2010. Acrylic on Mylar
Cavern Plume, 2010. Acrylic on Mylar
Cloudsmoke; acrylic on Mylar cutout
Fractured Slab, 2010. Acrylic on polyester mesh with wood
Two, 2011. Acrylic on Mylar
Hedges, 2008. Acrylic on polyester mesh with wood
Caverns; acrylic on Mylar
Turf Fold; acrylic on Mylar cutout