The Granucci Gallery is excited to present BLUR: Unraveling the Feminine, Masculine, and Everything In-between, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of artist Ruth Chase’s work. On view from August 3 – September 11, 2021, this exhibition consists of portraits and figurative paintings, video, an art film, and a public engagement piece. The show is a collaboration between Ruth and more than sixty volunteer participants. There will be a public reception from 5-7 pm on Friday, August 20.
Ruth’s work is fueled by collaboration. Using video and paint, Ruth challenges traditional roles prescribed by society, exploring feminine and masculine traits that embody all genders rather than being defined by one’s outward appearance. The work presents contrasting viewpoints, encouraging the viewer to come to their own conclusions. The exhibition is a gaze into a broader experience of being human and ever-evolving.
Motherhood opened a world within Ruth, both painful and empowering, inspiring her to depict on canvas the complexity of the mother/daughter relationship. Experiencing her daughter’s adolescence awakened memories within her, causing a deep reflection on how our childhood shapes us as women and the role vulnerability plays in our development. Her studio paintings capture fragile moments taken from her daughter’s selfies. Other paintings in the show come from images sent in by men and women looking at the masculine-feminine spectrum.
Because collaboration is essential to her work, Ruth began conversing with people on Zoom to generate a sense of community and escape the isolation of 2020. Thirty conversations took place over a year; Ruth spoke with people worldwide who shared their insights on many topics beyond the initial question of what it means to be a woman. The conversations encompassed health issues unique to women, feminine empowerment, insecurities, teen pregnancy, motherhood, and balancing masculine and feminine energies. Often the conversation gravitated to gender and sexual identity, challenging cultural norms, and working around rigid stereotypes.
Ruth presents her subject matter in an accessible exhibition that is neither definitive nor a statement about feminism but rather a glance into the lives of everyday people and their thoughts and feelings about women.
Ruth paints in acrylic on canvas, blurring the lines with drips and intersecting patterns, shapes and edges. Gray is a dominant color to represent gender neutrality, allowing the viewer to bring more of themselves to the work without being drawn into commercial stereotypes of the feminine. The paintings are created by layering several thin washes of color to impart a sense of history, experience, and emotional complexity.
Her video work informs the paintings and delivers a broader perspective. The art film is a collage of moments that allow the viewer to connect with unlikely perspectives, finding a sense of belonging with someone they may see as “other.”
Participants include Michelle Amador, Eileen Bryant Archibald, Karla Kaizoji Austin, Be Boggs, Adrienne Boudreaux, Catharine Bramkamp, Adrian Card, Mira Clark, Brooke Condon, Colleen Graham, Brynn Farwell, Elma Jella’, Beatriz E. Ledesma, Gabi Markham, Chandra Merod, Luciano Mota, Nona, Michelle Litton Ogaidi, Rey Otis, Cassie Robertson, Steve Roddy, Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross, Shōkai Sinclair, Kim Stewart, Dana Divird Stevens, Valerie Hiestand Stuart, Andie Thrams, Tia Tuenge, Casey Louis Travis, Melody Be Watson, Nicole Weaver, Jen Rhi Winders, and Carolyn Crist Wright.
Exhibition Dates: August 6 – September 11, 2021
Opening Reception: Friday, August 20, 5 – 7 PM
Artist Talk: Thursday, September 9, 5 – 7 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 4 PM
The Center For The Arts
The Granucci Gallery
314 W. Main St., Grass Valley, CA