Water is an essential part of our lived experiences, ranging from the beneficial—taking a dip, watching the calming beauty of a sea, turning on the tap—to the dire—floods, melting polar ice caps, drought. In fact, our bodies are mostly comprised of and our planet is overwhelmingly covered by water. It’s no wonder then that this vital life source continues to be inspirational fodder for artists. Water’s fluidity, reflectivity, depth and ever-changing nature evoke a wide range of associations and emotions that artists have sought to capture or express through their work.
The group exhibition Water Ways brings together works that make direct reference to water and art that uses water metaphorically. Here, artists picture swimmers, capture moonlit lakes, re-create a pool of water, map seas or depict mythic tales rooted in oceans or rivers. These works are balanced by others that suggest the aquatic, like bridges, borders, depth, movement, reflection, source, transformation and the unconscious. Unceasing motion, dreams, psychological implications and mirrored surfaces, among other aspects, play a role in these artists’ works.
Comprised of drawings, installations, paintings, photographs, prints and sculpture, Water Ways includes over 50 works of art that underscore water’s many forms and associations. Serving as a powerful conduit, the theme of water enables artists to delve into its representation as well as its psychological, symbolic and cultural significance. The works on view are almost entirely drawn from the Linda Pace Foundation/Ruby City Collection and reveal yet another lens by which its holdings can be interpreted.
Water Ways celebrates the opening of the newest phase of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, which integrates Ruby City as a key anchor of this acclaimed linear park managed by the San Antonio River Authority. This marks the completion of the Ruby City campus, with the plaza now open and its design incorporated into the Culture Park’s Camp Street bridge, pathways and landscaped terracing. Take a moment to explore the Park which provides access to nature and public art commissioned by the River Authority along with Bexar County and, just as importantly, honors this waterway’s importance to the history and future of San Antonio.
Artists in the exhibition include:
Carlos Almaraz, Jesse Amado, Ricky Armendariz, Rosa Barba, Jennifer Bartlett, Louisa Chase, Anne Chu, Joey Fauerso, Teresita Fernández, Adam Fuss, Mona Hatoum, Jim Hodges, Jenny Holzer, Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, Isaac Julien, Surasi Kusolwong, Donald Moffett, Rivane Neuenschwander, Robyn O’Neil, Chris Ofili, Catherine Opie, Sherry Owens, Linda Pace, Raymond Pettibon, Lari Pittman, Lordy Rodriguez, Peter Rostovsky, Luz María Sánchez, Penelope Speier, Robert Stackhouse, Do-Ho Suh, James Surls, Luc Tuymans and Robert Yarber, among others.
Ruby City will celebrate the exhibition with a free public opening reception on Saturday, September 9, 2023: 3-5pm, following a walkthrough featuring Gonzales and Mona Hatoum at 2pm. Other programs include an artist talk and workshop with Ricky Armendariz on October 21: 2-3:30pm and Family Day on November 11. Water Ways will remain on view through June 28, 2024.