The Department of Art Practice is pleased to present
A Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture:
RUTH WALLER: Painting Upside-down at the Bottom of the World
7:30 – 9 pm, Monday, September 15, 2014
Kroeber 160, UC Berkeley Campus
Free and Open to the Public
Ruth Waller’s paintings are grounded in her interest in the natural world, in ecosystems in danger, and in undervalued, unseen life forms. In recent years her focus has shifted towards the act of seeing in painting, and painting’s history of representation. Italian and Northern Renaissance art has provided rich source material for layered and reflective paintings, whereas the illusions of shifting spatiality and motion found in Op-Art have been reworked into colorful patterning that structures her paintings.
About the paintings in “Mineral”, her most recent (2014) exhibition, she writes:
These paintings grew out of a number of everyday visual pleasures: a collection of small rocks picked up the bush, plants my backyard garden, the landforms of the Blue Mountains, mornings spent amongst the eucalypts in the Canberra Botanic Gardens, and the pleasures of painting itself, of Bellini, El Greco, Gauguin, of Romanesque frescoes and Indian miniatures…
I called the show Mineral because I found myself enjoying the experience of considering paint as a kind of mineral matter: of colour as a gritty and particular substance. And I enjoy the way rocks form and cleave with planar geometry and yet erode and crumble in ways more organic. Each is irregular and unique and is shaped by a specific series of events in the world.
I think it’s hard to make any great claims for painting today, but it is a particularly persistent anachronism. I like that. There’s something quite releasing in finding oneself consigned to the margins of the artworld, in being out of sync with things. It means you can just get on with making your work, reinventing things for yourself, and you can be quite idiosyncratic about how you do it.
Ruth Waller, born in Sydney, studied at the Alexander Mackie School of Art in Sydney in the 1970s (now College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales). In 2000 she completed a Master of Arts at the Australian National University School of Art, where she has taught since 1990; she is currently the Head of the Painting Workshop there. Waller has exhibited her work in Australia for over twenty-five years, in solo and group shows, and is represented in regional, state and national collections.
*Correction: In an earlier email Ruth Waller was incorrectly identified as “Judith” Waller. Our apologies for the error.
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