Sterling Ruby

Born 1972 in Bitburg, Germany
Lives and Works in Los Angeles, CA

To make the works on view in the Biennial, from his ongoing Basin Theology series of ceramic sculptures, Sterling Ruby created large vessels that he filled with remnants of earlier works that he had deemed failures or which had accidentally blown up during firing. He fused these pieces together through an extensive process of repeated glazing and kiln firing. Ruby was influenced by the excessive glazes characteristic of European “Fat Lava” pottery of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, as well as the mid-twentieth-century movement in Southern California, led by artists such as Peter Voulkos (1924–2002), that brought ceramics and other decorative arts into the realm of the so-called fine arts. The finished works contain notions of archaeological excavation, reanimating his own objects exhumed from the past into new, living forms.