Ilona Ruegg: Barbara Gross Galerie.
The central motif in "Slippage" was the shower stall. Ruegg is particularly interested in this structure as an enclosure within another space, a familiar domestic site, and a place of intimacy. Ruegg depicted the same stall three times in black and once in white outline on a black ground. Both of the works entitled "Les cabines" (cabins) on the other hand, contained three versions of stalls in red. The objects in the picture create, as these and other works show, the possibility of invoking the relationship between art and everyday reality. As though to underline these relationships, Ruegg stretched four black ropes through the rooms of the gallery, and she hung from these ropes "soft" shower stalls (made of a variety of materials, from polystyrene to silicon paper and rubber), as though they had been "hung out to dry." Here she made use of an distancing device familiar from the work of Claes Oldenburg, achieving a highly playful effect through her handling of a variety of materials. The two paintings that were on view here were also based on a certain degree of distortion and a superimposition of layers, as Ruegg used a scraper to blur color and to obscure some planes while exposing others.
Ruegg's manner of suggesting surprising relationships eventually seemed, however, to take on more relevance than her ostensible subject matter. She created so many different layers that content was lost in the process, as contradictory procedures formed a cryptic network of signs. This effect, however, was counterbalanced by the show's provocative meditations on privacy and intimacy.
- Justin Hoffmann
Translated from the German by David Jacobson.
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|Date:||Oct 1, 1996|
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