Cincinnati, OH—U·turn Art Space is pleased to announce The Place You Made to Find One Another, an exhibition of new work by Patricia Murphy and Eric Ruschman, two of the venue’s progenitors. Both artists will share some ideas and inspirations for the exhibition with an informal artist talk and film night to take place on Saturday, August 21st.
The exhibition’s title is a quotation drawn from the series finale of the science fiction television program LOST. It refers to a pre-heaven dimension that the show’s main characters subconsciously created during their adventures and trials throughout the show’s six seasons. Similarly, The Place You Made to Find One Another presents an opportunity for two artists in U·turn’s collective to create works specifically for the gallery they help maintain. Drawing from personal experiences and sourcing material (both physical and conceptual) from popular culture, Murphy and Ruschman have created an exhibition that highlights where their concerns overlap and where their modes of creation and representation diverge. The artists’ shared occupations with color’s emotive power and the autobiographical potential of unaltered found objects are invested into island-like sculptural installations and highly chromatic, offhandedly personal remarks in painting.
Murphy's suggestive sculptural arrangements are explorations into discovering the histories of materials and objects through not only their use in the studio but also their previous functions and lives, which may have been in her own home, a nearby hardware store, or the homes of friends. Some are completely constructed using leftover paper, tape, and cardboard from other projects, such as a work in brown paper, which fits into an installation of other materials that bursts open at the top. It was once the outer covering for a mail order gift which Murphy tore open with animal hostility in order to check its working order before gifting it. Many objects have been 'fixed' or glued together. A small ceramic horse with one leg glued back on was the guardian of multiple apartments before getting knocked over in a frenzy of company at her current home. Paint as employed by Murphy is an accentuation, a gesture to breathe life into other works. These assemblages populate the gallery like a chain of island formations or a line of inquiry, inviting intimate inspection as well as inclusive views of the overall exhibition.
Murphy seeks to begin a dialogue in her constructed environment, whether it be an unsure, even underdeveloped connection, or else an exhilarating and in-tune radiation of associations, recognitions, and responses. Most important in the formulation of these sculptural landscapes and platforms, is the dialogue that is asserted when these works interact with each other, with Ruschman's objects, and the viewer.
Meanwhile, much of the gallery’s wall space will be inhabited by Ruschman’s highly crafted and colored paintings and shelf installations. He has introduced new levels of formalist daring-do into previously distilled portrayals of coming-of-age fables. For several years, Ruschman’s paintings have followed the quirky narratives of black cats and other whimsical animal characters, all carefully rendered in oil across the paintings’ glossy enamel surfaces. In these new works that are sometimes shaped into off-kilter parallelograms or strange polygons, the picture plane is broken down into geometric compositions, with noticeable absence of the charming creatures for which the painter is known. Where critters do occur, they insert themselves into Modernist complexities, a painted space both joyous and analytical. In several works, Ruschman has tiled out hand painted patterns that contrast more reductivist explorations found elsewhere in the space. These wall works are joined by one large freestanding sculpture by Ruschman, a meditation on wildlife afflicted by the oil spill in the Gulf. The narrative undercurrent in much of Ruschman’s paintings and objects can be sly and unassuming; presenting a high chroma, saccharine glimpse of something more complicated and involved. He and Murphy both employ very specific titles as an important material, offering alternative departure points into the work through these accompanying texts. Taken together, the artists offer a playful environment, full of camaraderie, coloration and occasional, plunging concern.
Patricia Murphy is a native of Northern Kentucky currently residing in Cincinnati’s Brighton district where she collaboratively runs and lives behind U·turn, an alternative art space. She participated in the New York Studio Program operated by the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design in the fall of 2008, located in the heart of DUMBO in Brooklyn, NY. She has been teaching for Artstop, a program through the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, KY, since spring 2009. She graduated Valedictorian with a BFA in Sculpture in May 2010 from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. In addition to art making, Murphy writes poetry and co-assembles a printed publication released in conjunction with U·turn’s exhibitions entitled the Brighton Approach.
Eric Ruschman is (primarily) a painter. He graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2007 with a BFA in Painting. He has an established exhibition record in the Cincinnati area, having shown at the Art Academy’s Pearlman and Chidlaw Galleries, ArtWorks Gallery, Synthetica Gallery, The Cincinnati Visual Fringe Festival and Museum Gallery Gallery Museum with solo exhibitions at semantics gallery and The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center. In addition to art making, Ruschman is also a curator and collective member of semantics gallery and U·turn Art Space, two alternative gallery spaces in the Brighton District of Cincinnati. His free time is usually spent reading fiction novels and watching films and television with his best friend and a little black cat named St. Kitten (the latter of which being a subject of many paintings). For more information, please visit the artist’s website.