This week I acquainted myself with three contemporary artists
Kathy Ruttenberg is an artist who works both two and three dimensionally. Her imagery is that of the natural world and myth. Her color palette is simple and soft, letting the figures she forms express her ideas. There is an eerie tension as she creates scenes of peaceful landscape with human females being penetrated or encompassed by large amounts of vegetation. Despite the violent occurrences, these ladies have a serene look on their faces. She also continues her narrative with detailed surface work or text on the garb's of her sculpted women or animal skins. I am very drawn to her dark and whimsical work.
Javier Marin is a prolific sculptor who started out in clay, explored bronze and dabbled with resin casting. He works on the monumental scale, often installing his pieces in public spaces. He often uses the human body in what he creates, casting a multitude of parts and binding them together or altering their forms in some way. His human figures are romanticized, gruesome and have a Mannerist style to them evoking feelings of artistic movements of the past. In his investigations with resin, he mixes organic materials such as dried meat fiber, soil, and tobacco to play with light movement through the resin. He ends up creating fascinating and textural works which get the viewer pondering about the natural and synthetic.
Thornton Dial is sometimes put into the category of "Outsider Art" because he received no formal training though he made "things" all of the time. He was a laborer in rural Alabama for over 40 years with little to no schooling. Despite that, he created works assembling and deconstructing found objects, including recycling materials of his completed pieces. He was brought to the attention of the art world in the 1990s. His works express what it is like to live as a black man in a racist and agrarian southern state. He varies between childlike drawings of simple line work and large assemblages of paint and found items with a strong feeling of movement within the use of material. The tactile quality of his art is amazing.