Uncontrollable Drifting Inward and Outward Together (130lbs times two)
Brie Ruais [b. 1982]. Uncontrollable Drifting Inward and Outward Together (130lbs times two), 2021. Glazed stoneware, rocks, hardware. 90 x 172 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches | 228.5 x 438 x 6.5 cm. Image courtesy the artist and albertz benda, New York | Los Angeles. Photo by Nash Baker.
I see these as a balancing of opposites, a kind of turning of the cosmic sphere, night and day, sun and moon, dark and light; false binaries that suggest one can be had without the other, but they reaffirm each other, and coexist in balance (with effort).
Spanning an entire wall of the Lancaster Lobby, Brie Ruais’ Uncontrollable Drifting Inward and Outward Together (130lbs times two) (2021) is the latest large-scale artwork to be discovered in the Museum.
Ruais (American, born 1982) creates ceramic sculptures through a performative process in which she scrapes, pushes, and pulls unformed clay—the equivalent of her body weight—into expressive formations. Working in quick energetic bursts, usually only 15 minutes at a time, she describes this process as one of literally and philosophically “spreading outward from the center.” The artist’s interaction with the clay, her visceral manipulation of this most elemental of art materials, is recorded within the sculpture’s final form. The strength of her creative act is juxtaposed with the relative fragility of the work as a fired ceramic.
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Contemporary art installations in common spaces at WAM are supported by the Fletcher Foundation, Larry and Marla Curtis, the Don and Mary Melville Contemporary Art Fund, and the John M. Nelson Fund.