Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00-17:00
The Museum of Cycladic Art has invited acclaimed American artist Sterling Ruby for
an intervention in the Museum’s permanent collections, showcasing a selection of his famous ceramic sculptures. The installation entitled Sterling Ruby at Cycladic:
Ceramics further extends to the Dolly Goulandris wing and is scheduled to last from 12 May – 21 June 2021, with dates subject to national public health guidelines.
It is the second instance, following the Ai Weiwei at Cycladic exhibition in 2016, that
the Museum has invited an artist to juxtapose their work with its permanent
collections. This time, Sterling Ruby, who continuously pushes the boundaries of artistic creation, places a selection of his works loaned to the Museum among the rare artifacts of its famous Cycladic Art Collection.
The ceramic sculptures presented take a variety of forms, from smaller utilitarian
objects, like mortars or ashtrays, to larger basin forms, as well as figurative, floral and totemic shapes. As the artist explains, “The works are hand-wrought and
anthropomorphic; many of these vessels are made with pieces from earlier damaged works that I have collected and refired, sometimes up to 10 times. The works stand as monuments to failed attempts and futile gestures, covered in lustrous glazes with variegated colors - a result of their multiple kiln-firings. Contained within these sculptures are notions of archaeological excavation or exhumation, an allegorical acknowledgement of both personal and art historical burdens and debts, a reanimation of the objects and ideas from the past”.
Ruby, who employs diverse material and aesthetic strategies across a range of
mediums, including sculpture, drawing, collage, painting, and video, comes from a long tradition of California-based ceramic artists. The medium remains central to his
practice, utilizing the spatial qualities of sculpting and the chromatics of painting.
Applying this concept of personal excavation to the production of works and as a means of tracing a lineage throughout them, Ruby ascribes archαeology to a
prominent place in his oeuvre. At the Museum of Cycladic Art, Ruby’s works
converse with representative examples of figurines and vases, tools, weapons, and
pottery from all phases of the distinctive Cycladic islands’ culture that flourished in the central Aegean during the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC). As outlined by the artist: “Presented next to the artifacts exhibited in the Museum of Cycladic Art, the ceramics both explore the evolution of the medium and its possibilities and reflect on
a modern notion of archaeology”
The installation was realized with the kind support of Gagosian.