Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rusty Scruby and Sara Pringle: Identity Rediscovered

We drove out to south Fort Worth earlier this week to pick up Rusty's art works from the Carillon Gallery at Tarrant County College South Campus.  This was one of the three exhibitions in Texas that showed Rusty's works this month.

The brochure alone has raised the bar for Rusty's expectations of college shows.  Joshua Goode, who is the Chair of the Fine Arts Department, and his printmaking proteges created the tri-fold brochure on heavy card stock.  It includes pictures of most all of the art works of both artists, bios, artist statements, and an exhibition summary written by Goode.

 Pringle, Three Quarter Torso, Mountain Lake, oil on canvas, 72" x 49", 2011

This was Sara Pringle's first visit to Texas. She is from California and currently lives and works in New York City.  Sara collects images that she finds on the internet and then adds an image of herself to arrive at the compositions for her paintings. The text in the brochure tells us this about Pringle's works:

"She examines photographs of herself.  A photo being the primary source of idea, the apparition and the dream that becomes Sara Pringle.  At times she compares herself to others, placed in imagined situations, alternate contexts, in an attempt to examine her real response and purpose. She reassembles all of the unique characteristics found into a truer version of her."

Pringle standing next to her paintings
Alpine Meadow, oil on canvas, 15" x 20", 2010
Snowy Mountain Tony, oil on canvas, 15" x 20", 2010

During Pringle's artist talk we learned that "Tony" is also an appropriated image, not a person that she knows or interacts with in her daily life.  I find it interesting that she paints Tony in black and white tones as we see her in this imaginary relationship with him and their surroundings.

left to right:
Pringle, Alpine Osprey, oil on canvas, 42" x 36", 2011
Scruby, Water Tower 1, photographic reconstruction, 64" x 57", 2003
Pringle, Alsaska, oil on canvas, 36" x 48", 2011

The brochure has this to say about Scruby's work:

"Rusty Scruby discovers his place in the world at large by breaking down everything around him into basic parts and elements, playing games to deal with reality.  He freezes and unfreezes objects and moments.  These are reanimated with scientific precision and systematic destruction. He documents these unbiases investigations and reveals the laboratory results for analysis, discovering his true positions."

Scruby on left, Orange and Lemon, photographic reconstruction, 33" x 33", 2011

left to right:
Scruby, Premium Country Style, orange juice jug reconstruction, 9" x 4" x 4", 2011
Scruby, No Artificial Growth Hormones, milk jug reconstruction, 10" x 4" x 4", 2011

Scruby examines time and repetitive actions and motions in our daily lives with these two sculptural reconstructed works.  Scruby uses six to nine original juice and milk containers to create these.  He collects the containers as he uses them over the six to nine week time period in which he consumes the products.  Then he begins to cut the pieces, using overlapping sections from the different originals, and then "knits" them back together.  The process itself becomes a further examination of time and repetitive action.

Scruby, fruit installation, plastic fruit, dimensions variable, 2011

fruit installation detail

Scruby used plastic fruit to re-imagine his faceted imagery, taking this idea from the 2D into 3D.  The viewer is left to reconstruct in their own mind the possible original combination of the few fruits from which Scruby modeled the resulting faceted wall sculpture.

Pringle received her Bachelor's Degree in Art and Biology from the University of California and later earned her Masters in Fine Art in Painting from Boston University.  Scruby studied aerospace engineering for four years out of a five year degree program at Texas A&M and then transferred to University of North Texas where he studied music composition for two years.  During this time, Scruby began to apprentice for the sculptor Arthur Zenon and later went on to work with ceramic artist Margaret Furlong. With each bringing educational backgrounds of art as well as science to the table, these two artists provided the TCC academic viewers with means to examine their own identities.

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