RUBY CITY CELEBRATES 2023 ACQUISITIONS

Tala Madani, Shit Mom Animation 1, (2021); single channel color, stop motion animation, 7:54 minutes. © Tala Madani

We are pleased to announce the acquisition of 65 works by 26 artists in 2023. The new acquisitions, like the Linda Pace Foundation, Ruby City Collection as a whole, include works by internationally acclaimed artists as well as those with strong ties to San Antonio and the state of Texas. 

“I’m deeply proud of the acquisitions we’ve made this year given their ability to speak to the personal and universal as well as the innovative artistic approaches and processes they employ. Each speaks to themes inherent to the Collection such as: feminism, the home, identity, process, and materiality. I can’t wait to share them with our audiences,” stated Director Elyse A. Gonzales.

Fifteen artists are new to the Collection among them Nicole Eisenman, Valie Export, Anya Gallacio, Emily Jacir, Charles LeDray, Annette Lemieux, Constance Lowe, Celia Álvarez Muñoz, and Sue Williams. Others such as Nate Cassie, Mona Hatoum, Kim Jones, Tala Madani, Paul Pfeiffer, Juan Miguel Ramos, and Tim Rollins + KOS are already represented in the Collection and these acquisitions give further context to their artistic practices, many of whom work in multiple mediums. By welcoming these works into the collection, the Foundation continues to manifest Pace’s vision to represent the communities it serves with contemporary art that aims to inform and illuminate the world in which we live today. 

About the New Acquisitions

Tala Madani’s 8-minute animation Shit Mom Animation 1 (2021) derives its title from the British slang expression for a bad mom. “Shit Mom” is just as described, always appearing as a smear of brown paint, who ruins everything, no matter how hard she tries. Comprised of thousands of hand-painted cells that are then photographed and digitally stitched together, Shit Mom follows the eponymous character through various beautifully appointed rooms in her home, but she leaves filth wherever she goes and on whatever she touches. Her attempts to clean up the smears just make it worse. Madani’s work taps into the common, but often unspoken fears mothers have about failing as a parent and the impossibility of living up to society’s unrealistic visions of motherhood. This video purchase complements a painting by the artist already in the Collection.

Celia Álvarez Muñoz; Chuck Ramirez, Semejantes Personajes/Significant Personages series, 2002; digital Holgas 14x 30 in.; © Celia Álvarez Muñoz. Courtesy Ruiz-Healy Gallery

Ruby City also purchased 18 prints from Celia Álvarez Muñoz’s digital photographic series from 2002, Semejantes Personajes/Significant Personages which documents Latinx artists practicing in San Antonio at the time. Muñoz encouraged her subjects to do whatever they wished while she photographed them. She then scanned the images, digitally manipulating them (when this process was still very much in its infancy) to make them appear as though film strips. In so doing, she emphasizes the San Antonio Latinx art community as ever active and lively, even though some may have passed away. Consequently, the images underscore how Latinx art and artists remain an enduring force. This is the first work by Muñoz to enter the Collection.

Mona Hatoum, Mobile Home II, 2006; furniture, household objects, suitcases, galvanized steel barriers, three electric motors and pulley system, 46 7/8 x 86 5/8 x 236 1/4 in. Linda Pace Foundation Collection, Ruby City, San Antonio, Texas, © Mona Hatoum, Courtesy Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin. Photo: Jens Ziehe.

Mona Hatoum’s Mobile Home II (2006) (see image below) presents an installation of furniture and household possessions that continually shift along horizontal wires strung between two metal police barriers. As the title implies, the installation is a condensed home that is in perpetual, barely perceptible, motion. Mobile Home II, taps into as the artist has put it, “precariousness” and the “basic human condition of exile,” as exemplified by the continuous movement inherent to the work.

Hatoum very graciously also gifted a print, Untitled (fence, red) (2018) to the Collection and, in conjunction with Carolyn Alexander of Alexander and Bonin Gallery, donated Isolette, (1999) a sculpture that appeared in her 1999 Artpace residency exhibition. These additions join others by Hatoum in the Collection to fully represent her multifaceted practice which includes large-scale installation, sculpture, works on paper, and video. 

 These were not the only gifts received in 2023. 

Anya Gallaccio, I still can’t remember when or how I lost my way, 2014; limestone, sandstone; 4 ¾ x 45 ¾ x 45 ¾ in. Linda Pace Foundation Collection, Ruby City, San Antonio, Texas, © Anya Gallaccio

With the artist, BLUM Gallery, Los Angeles gifted 5 sculptures by Anya Gallaccio that mimic key minimalist sculptures of large-scale freestanding cubes or portions of cubes. They are made, however, from stones found in Texas such as limestone, granite and sandstone that have been sliced as though wood and fitted together. These stones embody, according to Gallaccio, geologic time given the inherent age of the rocks and the fossils often found within them. She poetically, and from a feminist perspective, reinterprets this Minimalist sculptural form, imbuing it with natural and geological forces. This gesture counters the severe forms—devoid of context or history—as well as the machine fabricated nature of works typically associated with Minimalism. 

Alice Kosmin remains a steadfast donor inspired by the Foundation/Ruby City’s mission of providing access to contemporary art for all. In 2023 she gifted 28 works in her and her late husband’s name, Marvin, including photography, painting, drawing, video, and sculpture. Many bolster the Foundation’s holdings related to politically motivated or conceptually driven works, or those related to identity. Among the works she gifted are those by Nicole Eisenman, Valie Export, Emily Jacir, Kim Jones, Sean Landers, Charles LeDray, Annette Lemieux, Paul Pfeiffer, Jon Pylypchuk, Tim Rollins + KOS, Allen Ruppersberg, Laurie Simmons and Allan McCollum, and Sue Williams. 

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