b. 1970, USA

Ruby Neri Biography

American artist Ruby Neri's dynamic ceramics reflect the history of painting, combining her work as a street artist along with her personal identities.

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Early Years

Neri was born in San Francisco. Growing up in a family of artists, Neri has been influenced and inspired by the legacy and work of her own parents. In 1994, she received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and in 1998, completed her MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Neri's work follows the trajectory of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, which lasted throughout in the 1950s and 60s. This movement departed from abstract expressionism in order to explore figuration. Neri's paintings and sculptures have taken cues from this artistic movement, drawing inspiration from the human body and craft.

Ruby Neri Artworks

Early Work

During her undergraduate studies, Neri became involved in the Mission School movement along with American artists Alicia McCarthy and Barry McGee. This movement centred around San Francisco's Mission District, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the area, and responded to the culture of the San Francisco Art Institute at the time.

In the 1990s, Neri explored graffiti and street art under the pseudonym Reminisce, in which she would spray paint images of galloping horses onto building façades and trains in San Francisco.

Sculpture

Neri's move to Los Angeles for her graduate studies allowed her to transition from working with mostly painting to sculpture. While now off the canvas, her work continues to explore her relationship with painting and its histories. For example, in Girl (2010), Neri sculpted a female figure sitting with her knees up, painted in vibrant colours reminiscent of cubist traditions.

Neri has also created ceramic vases decorated with voluptuous female figures as its handles. These vases, which are often large in size and weigh between 400–800 pounds, merge her graffiti and sculptural practice through the use of spray paint atop the glaze. In an untitled 2018 work (Dancing Women), Neri sculpts a vase with a form similar to a uterus and paints two nude women on each handle who appear joyous with raised hands. In the middle of the work, a purple flower sits as its centrepiece. In another untitled work (Traditional Pot) (2017), several nude figures line its surface, bringing to mind imagery such as ancient Greek amphora and vases.

While often referred to as 'hypersexualised,' these works of Neri instead speak to various facets of being a woman, inspired from her own experience as a 'mother, lover, daughter, and maker.'

Exhibitions

Ruby Neri has held exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Musée d'Art moderne, Paris; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; and the High Line, New York.

Instagram

The artist's Instagram can be found here.

Arianna Mercado | Ocula | 2022

Ruby Neri Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Ruby Neri contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Ruby Neri Untitled, 2019 Pastel, oil pastel on paper
75.6 x 56.5 cm
KOSAKU KANECHIKA Contact Gallery
Untitled by Ruby Neri contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Ruby Neri Untitled, 2019 Pastel, oil pastel on paper
75.6 x 56.5 cm
KOSAKU KANECHIKA Contact Gallery
Blue Sky with Figures by Ruby Neri contemporary artwork sculpture
Ruby Neri Blue Sky with Figures, 2019 Ceramic with glaze
114.3 x 73.7 x 77.5 cm
KOSAKU KANECHIKA Contact Gallery
Untitled by Ruby Neri contemporary artwork sculpture, ceramics
Ruby Neri Untitled, 2019 Ceramic with glaze
200.7 x 137.2 x 73.7 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Woman in Leadership Position by Ruby Neri contemporary artwork print
Ruby Neri Woman in Leadership Position, 2019 Ceramic with glaze
125.7 x 83.8 x 81.3 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
High Kicker by Ruby Neri contemporary artwork ceramics
Ruby Neri High Kicker, 2019 Ceramic with glaze
135.9 x 99.1 x 86.4 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled by Ruby Neri contemporary artwork ceramics
Ruby Neri Untitled, 2019 Ceramic with glaze
143.5 x 88.9 x 86.4 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled (Large Figure Smoking) by Ruby Neri contemporary artwork ceramics
Ruby Neri Untitled (Large Figure Smoking), 2019 Ceramic with glaze
182.2 x 97.8 x 74.9 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery

Ruby Neri Recent Exhibitions

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