New York artists Janet Ruttenberg and Kathy Ruttenberg share an intimate connection as mother and daughter and as artists dedicated to rigorous studio practices. With the opening of this special exhibition, mother and daughter will exhibit together for the first time in their distinguished careers.
Janet Ruttenberg: Figure in the Landscape / Kathy Ruttenberg: Landscape in the Figure
This exhibition explores each artist’s intense observation of the human figure, the natural world, and the complex relationships and endless compositions that ensue from each. Organized by the Dubuque Museum of Art (DUMA) with a published catalogue and essay contributed by Charles Stuckey, former curator of the 20th Century Department of Painting & Sculpture at The Art Institute of Chicago, the exhibition includes four large-scale paintings by Janet Ruttenberg and ten ceramic sculptures and a tapestry by Kathy Ruttenberg.
For the last fifteen years, Janet Ruttenberg has quietly painted almost daily in New York City’s Central Park. In 2013, the Museum of the City of New York revealed Ruttenberg’s work to a much broader and appreciative audience with her debut exhibition, Picturing Central Park, which garnered praise in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Stuckey commented that the exhibition “revealed an exuberant and sophisticated master of color and drawing, and simultaneously an artist committed to experiment – prepared, for example, to incorporate photographs and videos for the fullest, most visionary results.”
Following her successful debut, Janet was invited to return to Dubuque to exhibit alongside her daughter, artist Kathy Ruttenberg, who, at mid-career, Stuckey describes as “possibly the foremost sculptor working in ceramic today, shaping incredible life forms, both physical and emotional, forever frozen in their most intensely heated state.” With a prolific career spanning over 30 years, Kathy continues to exhibit regularly and maintain an ambitious creative output including an enormous body of new figurative sculptures over the last three years, some in miniature, others at monumental scale. She was recently awarded a Prize of Honor from the 59th Faenze Prize, an international competition of contemporary ceramic art.
Janet Ruttenberg: Figure in the Landscape / Kathy Ruttenberg: Landscape in the Figure is accompanied by a selection of five of Janet Ruttenberg’s early works and works by two of her Dubuque teachers, artists Dorothy Bechtel Rossiter and Sr. Mary James Ann Walsh BVM.