Kathy Ruttenberg “Private Myths / Public Dreams”

Francis M. Naumann Fine Art

poster for Kathy Ruttenberg “Private Myths / Public Dreams”
[ImageL Kathy Ruttenberg "In Sync" (maquette), (2016) ceramic, 27 x 16 x 16 (detail)]

This event has ended.

This is American artist Kathy Ruttenberg’s first exhibition, Private Myths / Public Dreams, at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art in New York City. Known for a singular and fantastical mix of human, nature, and plant forms in her work, Ruttenberg’s extraordinary imagination has enabled her to turn her dreams into her reality. Her imagery—both figurative and biographical—is primarily concerned with the tensions of the natural world and human relationships, expressing a distinctly feminine perspective. Thematically, the natural world and our relationship to it underpin the artist’s work and feature broadly in her narratives, in which species merge and figures serve as mythic landscapes.

Personal and self-reflective, the artist’s latest works in this exhibition offer a new insight into Ruttenberg’s world of fantasy and, as the title of the show suggests, they are thoughts and visions made manifest and brought into a public space with powerful flights of fancy.

Other works in the exhibition—which include ceramic sculptures and watercolor drawings—started as maquettes for “In Dreams Awake”, a significant public art project commissioned by the Broadway Mall Association of six monumental outdoor sculptures by Ruttenberg on view until March 2019 from West 64th through West 157th Streets in Manhattan.

As the British art historian John Richardson says, “Kathy Ruttenberg’s artwork is baffling
and bewildering…Her work is unlike anything else that has ever been done before and there is nobody in her field that can touch her for fantasy or magic. There is also a menace in the joyous abundance of her mythological figures and darkness in her humor.”

The show also marks the release of the book, In Dreams Awake: Kathy Ruttenberg on Broadway, with a critical essay written by Deborah A. Goldberg, Ph.D. and published by Pointed Leaf Press, New York.

There is a long history of artists who create figurative work in clay, but the ceramic artist with whom Ruttenberg bears perhaps the closest affinity is American artist Beatrice Wood (1893-1998), often referred as the “Mama of Dada”, whose work has been the subject of prior exhibitions at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art. As a corollary to the Ruttenberg exhibition, a selection of Wood’s figurative ceramic sculpture and drawings will be on display in a smaller space between the two main galleries.

About Kathy Ruttenberg

Chicago born, Kathy Ruttenberg has built a career spanning three decades and her work, which has garnered both critical acclaim and awards, has been exhibited and collected worldwide – from the Tisch Children’s Zoo in New York’s Central Park to the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas, Brazil. In 1980, she won an honorable mention for her hand drawn animated film at the Varna International Film Festival and received a BFA with Honors from School of Visual Arts in 1981, majoring in animation and painting. After further studies in Italy and Morocco, she relocated to Woodstock in 1992, where she has been living and working ever since. To date, Ruttenberg has had more than thirty-five solo shows and her work has been included in more than a hundred group shows.





from January 11, 2019 to March 08, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-01-11 from 18:00 to 20:00

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