Brie Ruais: Movement at the Edge of the Land, 2021
Exhibition by Brie Ruais at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, Houston, TX
June 5 – August 28, 2021
In the summer of 2021, the Moody Center for the Arts presented Brie Ruais: Movement at the Edge of the Land, the first institutional solo exhibition of the Brooklyn-based sculptor Brie Ruais (b. 1982, Southern California). The artist creates large-scale abstract ceramic pieces, which operate on the scale of an individual body yet dynamically engage the architectural or natural environment. Employing her own physical features and bodily force as an artistic tool, the sculptures are shaped by this burst of energy. The artist’s movement-based practice is legible through the scrapes, gouges, and gestures embedded in the surfaces and forms of the ceramic works. Each sculpture is made with the equivalent of her body weight in clay, resulting in human-scale works that forge an intimacy with the viewer’s body. Through her collaborative engagement with raw materials like clay, dirt, and gravel, Ruais’s work generates a physical and sensorial experience that calls us to examine our relationship to the land.
The exhibition featured a monumental installation of ceramic works, created specifically for the exhibition at the Moody, and displayed in dialogue with a series of new photographs and a video installation that documented ephemeral interventions on the land. Arranged on both the floor and walls, the sculptures interacted with the galleries and the Rice campus, referencing the post-industrial transformation of the American West. A site-specific work in two parts engaged both the natural grounds outside the building, as well as the man-made container within.
This exhibition was curated by Frauke V. Josenhans, Associate Curator, Moody Center for the Arts.
Exhibition photos by Nash Baker.
Detailed photo captions for the individual works:
- Broken Ground Red (130 lbs of clay spread out from center), 2017. Fired clay, glaze, hardware. 77 x 77 x 3 inches, 195.6 x 195.6 x 7.6 cm. Collection of the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX. Courtesy the artist.
- Scraped Away From Center, 130 lbs (Night), 2018. Glazed and pigmented stoneware, hardware. 81 x 73 x 3.5 inches, 205.5 x 185.5 x 9 cm. Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA. Courtesy the artist.
- Cycling, Two Times 135 lbs, 2020. Pigmented and glazed stoneware, hardware. 90 x 90 1/2 x 4 inches, 228.5 x 230 x 10 cm. Courtesy the artist and albertz benda, New York.
- Compressing from West and East, Six Times 135 lbs, 2020. Glazed stoneware, hardware. 74 x 128 x 6 inches, 188 x 325 x 15 cm. Courtesy the artist and albertz benda, New York.
- Interweaving the Landscape (six times 130lbs), 2020. Pigmented and glazed stoneware, hardware. 128 x 225 x 7 inches, 325 x 571.5 x 18 cm. Courtesy the artist and albertz benda, New York.
- Uncontrollable Drifting Inward and Outward Together (130lbs times two), 2021. Glazed stoneware, rocks, hardware. 90 x 172 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, 228.5 x 438 x 6.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and albertz benda, New York.
- Destruction and Discovery, 130lbs, 2021. Glazed stoneware, hardware, rocks. 86 x 87 3/8 x 3 inches, 218.5 x 222 x 7.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and albertz benda, New York.