Born in San Francisco, California in 1970; Lives and works in Los Angeles, California
In a sense, these vessels and figures are self-referential, but in a non-biographical way. They are idealizations and visions based on personal experience—a reflection of the multifaceted, intense energy of everyday living. — Ruby Neri
Ruby Neri (b. 1970, San Francisco) draws upon 20th century West Coast traditions as well as a global catalogue of art historical and anthropological modes. She depicts the human body as a porous instrument of pleasure, terror and everything in between; this places her within a lineage of contemporary Los Angeles-based artists which includes Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy and Charles Ray, while her penchant for hand-driven craft connects her to the Bay Area Figurative and Funk movements. The ceramic vessels that have dominated her production recently evoke both earthy tactility and psychological intimacy. Neri’s use of sprayed glazes links her ceramics to the street art she produced in the late 1990s as a member of what would become the San Francisco-based Mission School, connecting a contemporary urban art form with the archaic power of pre-historical wall-painting. The women depicted in Neri’s ceramic vessels, paintings and pastels are both fabulous and frantic, and allude associations of women on the brink of self-destruction and ecstasy: such touchstones for tragedy include Helen of Troy — the most beautiful, fair-haired woman of the ancient Mediterranean — and Marilyn Monroe. Her works are also doubles: doubly dancing or singing and yelling, doubly sculpted in the round and on the surface in vibrant hues.
The artist is currently included in I Do My Own Stunts, curated by Jack Siebert and Caio Twombly, at Spazio Amanita, Los Angeles (CA)until March. Recent group exhibitions include New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive in 2021; The Flames: The Age of Ceramics at Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (FR) in 2021; Clay Pop at Jeffrey Deitch, New York (NY) in 2021; Peep Show at Anton Kern Gallery, New York (NY) in 2021; People at Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles (CA) in 2019; The Domestic Plane: New Perspectives On Tabletop Art Objects at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield (CT) in 2018; From Funk to Punk: Left Coast Ceramics at the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse (NY) in 2017; and NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, which traveled from the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (FL) in 2015 to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. in 2017.
Neri’s work is included in the collections of the Berkeley Art Museum (CA) and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (CA).
The New York Times
Art in America