An introduction can be a wonderful thing. You can meet interesting people, and make new friends. You can be introduced to your new favorite foods, books, music, or artist.
I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite artists. Some of whom I’ve been familiar with for years, and others I’ve only recently been introduced to.
The person I’d like to introduce is the artist Ruth Hardinger.
Ruth Hardinger was born Born in Albia, Iowa, USA, and lives in New York, NY.
“The material possibilities of powders of the earth and water: concrete and cement, echo nature’s volatility in my current work, but they do so only in so far as they are the result of an alchemy.
My recent sculptures are conglomerates of primary forms made from concrete that is hand-built or molded or cast in disposable objects such as cardboard boxes and plastic cups.
The individual components are joined together to make a larger whole. Intuitive choices, weighing, feeling and touching are essential in the process of making these pieces.
Through tactile joining and fitting processes, these sculptures explore the rudiments of building; these efforts become my art.
My current works have an enmeshed relationship to my long-standing interest in myth, archaeology, early cultures and primary structures. My forms negotiate a tension between their own literalness and abstraction, exploring their essential materiality rather than purely abstract. At times, there appear to be recognizable things in the pieces which are then rendered out-of-context or displaced and transformed to go to work in my visual language.
Some of my sculptures go beyond the constraints of a fixed structure. For example, with Reverse Count, 2008, concrete components are bound together by a single, suspended rope. The installation of the flexible structures is specific to a particular site and to the making process and therefore one-of-a-kind.
In reverse count #2, concrete blocks, cast in tubes or boxes, have interior perforations cast with disposable cups and tubes. Rope is wrapped and knotted around each block so that theblocks are held in place only by suspension. In other block-andrope works, the blocks, laced and knotted together, spill off the wall and fall into place.
The use of concrete is important for its physicality. Concrete allows for a kind of tension between warm, flesh-like textures, and the somber permanence of totemic objects while being simultaneously a common building material.
In my preceeding works, I used plaster as a way of capturing an immediacy and urgency, rendering
the fragility of my structures. “Plasters” (2001-2003) explored primary forms, balance and
structures inplaster of Paris, structolite, hydrocal and hydrostone.
Plaster responds to being handled and molded in a completely engaging way. Edges remain raw,
freshly extracted from the mold, other surfaces are burnishing by hand, finger marks show, and
hand-troweled passages exist along side molded areas as a record of the formation process. Theseorganic building methods allow the work to retain a humanity. Plaster’s uncanny fluidity coupled with its fragility are essential elements in this group of works. These elements are echoed by the gestures of the works: Against the Wall leans against a wall, Passage balances on one limb, and Teeter for Two stands on a base that tips. The pieces are precarious — I stop stacking at the last point where stability is still maintained.
Furthering the language of forms and materials, I’ve recently begun a series of drawings called Interactions. These works utilize the physical characteristics of paper and graphite. Their intent is to capture pulsating moments that are parallel to my physical interaction with these materials.
Defined primarily by the use of folding and thereby creating lines that extend the action of the piece
beyond the edge of the paper, these works evoke a spatial territory that extends beyond the boundaries of the page. But the work exists in the page and the viewer turns to the pulsing graphite form that is simultaneously present and absent, a shadow and a sound.
Historically, they belong to the tradition of truth to materials. In 2000 I produced a series of drawings where I allowed the tooth of the paper and graphite to interact and respond to each other. These
and the subsequent works have a certain uncontrollable, unpredictable quality. In this way my working process is related to my process-specific sculpture.” RH
1975-77 Hunter College, NYC, BA, Magna Cum Laude, Classical Studies.
1970-72 The Art Students League of New York, studied with Theodoros Stamos.
1968-70 Central College, Pella, IA
Other material relating to Ruth Hardinger
Artist Website: www.ruthhardinger.com
ArtSlant: Ruth Hardinger.
Youtube: Culture Trashes Nature: Ruth Hardinger.