In this exhibit, Ruth Schreiber shows works which represent significant markers of time gone by. Past events are described through a combination of elements that were part of those occurrences, evidence of people and of memories. The sculptures conceal a treasure trove of the artist’s views on life and matter.
The pieces in the exhibit are ceramic, glass, iron, found objects and black-and-white photographs.
The artist named every piece. The relationship between the actual work and its name serves as a conduit for the observer, since there is more here than meets the eye. Each sculpture carries different material baggage, and corralling the works together in one space creates a microcosm of her world.
Ruth Schreiber presents works that diverge in character, with a surprises and with humor.
The sculptures express a deep familiarity with the subject matter, and with the materials she chose to use. Ruth describes life and death cycles simultaneously. Alongside works that express yearning and sadness, another piece is called “Two Right Answers", as a logical conclusion that enables existence. "Newton's Third Law of Motion" provides an opportunity to borrow physics terms such as strength, body, resistance for use in the context of an internal discourse. The use of metaphor enables a fresh look at one work, and extends that view to the entire exhibit.
The observing neighbors are presented by Ruth in six black-and-white photographs. The neighbors' faces, sketched in porcelain, are documented permanently. They will be preserved as a digital file, recognizable in the future based on the shape of their faces. This depiction is distancing, and an expression of power. The exhibit might be experienced as music: a fugue perhaps. The fugue is a composition intended for several parts, but characterized by the distinctive sound of each of the parts, which interweave to create a pleasant listening experience. One might imagine a number of people speaking simultaneously, but with such harmony as to enable listening to them all at once.
Strolling between the works is complex and challenging; some pieces overwhelm, while others are obscure. Ruth Schreiber knows sisterhood, she packages pain, she receives or writes a cryptographic letter, she opposes changes to the natural order, she is flooded with memories that she is afraid to lose; she has a winged angel, and the bones of her hand sprout with fresh grass. The heaviness that characterizes the subject matter of her works does not come to the fore in the gallery.
Another significant sphere is the space between the observer and the work, a space intended for critique, and for myriad possibilities of experience and consideration.
Go on, Spoil Yourself, suggests the artist.
Talia Tokatly June 2020