Press Release  April 18, 2019

Ruth Root's Vibrant New Paintings Pop at Carnegie Museum of Art

Courtesy the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

Ruth Root, Untitled, 2017, fabric, plexiglass, enamel paint, and spray paint, 47 ½ × 80 in. (120.7 × 203.2 cm)

Pittsburgh, PA—Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) debuts a new body of work from celebrated American painter Ruth Root in the 81st installment of its Forum series dedicated to contemporary art. The exhibition opens with a preview and gallery talk featuring the artist on April 18, followed by a celebration at Third Thursday, the museum’s monthly late-night event.
 
A consummate innovator, Ruth Root (b. Chicago, IL, 1967) fashions eccentrically shaped paintings that dazzle and perplex with their play of pattern and found imagery. Each of Root's latest works, which combine abstraction and digital printing, include a shaped panel painted with acrylic and spray paint suspended from a flexible sewn form that has been covered with the artist's own fabric designs. This presentation is Root's first solo exhibition at a major American museum.

Image courtesy the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York.

Ruth Root, digital fabric design for Untitled, 2017

Physically and visually unruly, these large-scale works push the boundaries of the medium and embrace the complexities of the visible world. For her fabric designs, Root draws found imagery from disparate sources including the news media, art history, and online search engines. In this new body of work, Root has incorporated images of artworks and design objects from CMOA’s collection displays.

Image courtesy the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York.

Ruth Root, Untitled, 2017, fabric, plexiglass, enamel paint, and spray paint, 86 × 67 ¾ in. (218.4 × 172.1 cm)

"The exhibition celebrates Root's startling command of color, pattern, and shape as well as her thought-provoking inquiry into what a painting can be," says Eric Crosby, CMOA's Henry J. Heinz II Acting Co-Director and Richard Armstrong Senior Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art. "Painting and everyday life collide in Root’s visually complex works. Diving into them is a captivating process of discovery."

In addition to the exhibition, Root has collaborated with museum staff to create an interactive scavenger hunt based on her research visits to CMOA called "Looking and Drawing with Ruth Root." Visitors of all ages are invited to take a free copy of the guide and follow the artist's imaginative prompts to explore the museum's permanent collection of paintings through her eyes.

Ruth Root is organized by Eric Crosby, Henry J. Heinz II Acting Co-Director and Richard Armstrong Senior Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, with Hannah Turpin, Curatorial Assistant for Modern & Contemporary Art and Photography.

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