Ruby City is pleased to announce the acquisition of 9 works by 8 artists in 2022. The new acquisitions include works by internationally acclaimed artists and those with strong ties to San Antonio and Texas. Together these gifts and purchases deepen the collection's BIPOC and Latin American perspective, which founder Linda Pace fostered in her lifetime. In addition to works by artists previously represented in the Linda Pace Foundation's collection, such as Arturo Herrera, Isaac Julien, Katie Pell and Chuck Ramirez, this year's acquisitions include the first works by Amy Cutler, Jamal Cyrus and Kate Ericson & Mel Ziegler to enter the collection
"I’m delighted to add these works to our Collection. Some augment holdings of artists Linda Pace knew and admired, while others expand our Collection in the spirit of Pace’s ideals and unique interests. They demonstrate the multiplicity of mediums and methods in which artists are working today and reflect a formal elegance matched by insightful conceptual underpinnings that touch on the nature of art, collage, history, gender, or the Black diaspora, among other subjects." said Elyse A. Gonzales, director of Ruby City.
New acquisitions by beloved San Antonio-based artists Katie Pell (1965-2019) and Chuck Ramirez (1962-2010) also entered the collection in 2022. Pell's untitled work, a charcoal and pastel drawing on paper with a mirrored frame is a gift from the private collection of Heather and George Schroeder. The drawing, in Pell's signature style-fanciful yet realistic-depicts a variety of animals, birds and plants in black-and-white, framing an expanse of blue, cloud-filled sky.
Ramirez was collected in-depth by Pace during her lifetime. This year the Foundation received two works by the artist gifted by Dr. Don Bacigalupi and Daniel Feder titled Plastic Meanies and Plastic Bambies (1995). Ramirez's sculptures are packaged found Disney animal toys that he initially sold as though meat products, playfully calling to mind the very real animal sources of the foods we eat. These sculptures are a great example of the artist's early work. They combine the skill of a mature art director at grocery store HEB, a previous profession held by the artist, and yet also harken to the works he came to be known by that slyly comment on identity and contemporary culture and society.
The most recent acquisitions are surreal works by artist Amy Cutler, including an interactive, multi-media installation, Fossa (2015), a gift from the artist. Cutler is known for her finely detailed paintings, drawings and prints of women engaged in labor-intensive and often repetitive tasks in both domestic and enigmatic open spaces in nature. Fossa creates the experience of walking into one of her two-dimensional works. Also acquired this year for the Linda Pace Foundation Collection includes a large drawing which is also titled Fossa (2015). Cutler's work joins other artists in the collection who work in the same vein of surreal themes, such as Marcel Dzama, Anna Gaskell and Robyn O'Neil.
Arturo Herrera has generously gifted a suite of 8 prints titled Las Bodas (2019). For over thirty years, Herrera has been an avid admirer of dance. This passion, combined with his investment in collage is evidenced in Las Bodas [The Weddings]. These silk-screened collaged prints draw inspiration from the music and dance for a 1923 Ballet Russe production about a Russian peasant wedding. Collaged atop each of the prints is a copy of Igor Stravinsky's sheet music for the ballet along with silk-screened drawings executed by the artist that are as the final layer. Herrera's dynamic line work is a visual representation of the music and movement integral to the ballet.
This year the Linda Pace Foundation was pleased to purchase Inner Necessity to Outer Time [Run Mary Run] (2021), a monumental textile by Jamal Cyrus. Based in Houston, Cyrus has developed an expansive researched-based practice that examines the black diaspora. His multilayered works frequently weave references to black identity, political movements, music and history, unearthing little-known or hidden histories. This work joins others in the Foundation's permanent collection, like the work of Terry Adkins, which addresses similar themes, as well as the work of collection artists such as Maya Lin, Milagros de la Torre and Teresita Fernandez. Their quietly subversive works use celestial connections to represent environmental or socio-political concerns.
This year the Foundation was generously gifted a large-scale installation of Kate Ericson & Mel Ziegler's work from donor Alice Zoloto Kosmin. Consisting of over 80 empty paint cans as well as a glass plaque listing the names of individual colors from the Benjamin Moore “historic” series, High Gloss (1991) directly taps into present-day questions about representation. High Gloss is an excellent example of Ericson and Ziegler's collaborative art-making practice and demonstrates how even the paint that surrounds us can present a partial and biased conception of American history.
Ruby City announces the acquisition of Once Again…[Statues Never Die] (2022), a new five-screen film installation by the acclaimed filmmaker and artist Isaac Julien. This installation explores the relationship between Dr. Barnes, an early US collector and exhibitor of African material culture, and the famed philosopher and cultural critic Alain Locke, known as the “Father of the Harlem Renaissance.” The artist states, "Statues Never Die is a form of 'poetic restitution' and will create the impetus for a radical reconsideration of Black Modernism and restitution, and my hope is that this will provide a space for reflection that influences these debates in arts and the culture of museums generally." The Linda Pace Foundation has the most extensive collection of Julien's work worldwide.
The public can visit some of these works on exhibition at Ruby City in 2023. Herrera's recent gift is currently on view through February 26, 2023, in Ruby City’s auxiliary gallery, Studio. Also currently on view are the works of Ericson & Ziegler and Ramirez in an exhibition titled TANGIBLE/NOTHING at Ruby City through July 30, 2023. Finally, Cutler's recent acquisitions will be central to an exhibition in Studio from April 6, 2023, through February 25, 2024.