Launching our second season is our new exhibit, "Ruth Shively: It Girl." We had a spectacular opening reception with the artist and her family this past Friday evening. Here are some images from the party. The exhibit will be on view during regular hours and by appointment through October 30.
Ruth Shively’s masterfully illustrative drawings capture the intensity of women living in the 21st century. Her sense of dynamism and structure imbues each work with a sense of playfulness, even when depicting the subject in a state of contemplation.
Her women are immediately beautiful, but on closer inspection revealmany strengths beyond the superficial. The sense of vulnerability exhibited is not a weakness, but a means of drawing you in and preparing you for their vitality and intelligence. Look into their eyes, and you see smart, fierce human beings who will shape the world to their designs. They are thoroughly modern, without need of approval or permission to be who they are.
The works also function as a sort of talisman for the artist. Shively embeds within each portrait a narrative of confidence and control, and they in turn allow both the artist and viewer to draw from them a sense of empowerment.
Shively began this body of work more than four years ago, collaborating with a number of European fashion photographers, who provide her with raw images as subject and inspiration. She then proceeds to blow out the contrast and manipulate the composition to push each work towards a stark sophistication and elegance.