SUMMER ’21 // JOHN RUPPERT: Drift | Opening Receptions
Saturday, July 10 • 11 am-5 pm
@ C. Grimaldis Gallery
C. Grimaldis Gallery is pleased to present its 44th annual summer exhibition, Summer ‘21, featuring contemporary painting, drawing, and sculpture. Participating artists represent some of the gallery’s recent past and upcoming programming, while also highlighting new talent in Baltimore City.
Korean artist, Chul Hyun Ahn, creates sculptural “voids” which act as optical and bodily illusions of infinity. Through the poetics of emptiness and luminosity, Ahn bridges the gap between conscious and unconscious space. He draws from the Zen practice of meditation to consider man’s boundless ability for physical and spiritual motion. Sparking a similar awareness of the body’s relationship to space, Cheryl Goldsleger creates portal-like paintings that explore the inescapable connection between society and location. Her dense topographical compositions offer emotional tension and a yearning to understand our global landscape. And in an expanded idea of distorted understanding, Rene Trevino’s work weaves together themes of race and sexual orientation. His meticulously detailed paintings confront societal assumptions about his Mexican-American identity, and blur historical facts to deepen the complexity of story-telling.
Summer ‘21 showcases paintings from Alfonso Fernandez’s ongoing series depicting immigration from Mexico into the United States. Through light washes of color and overlapping figurative content, the artist confronts the viewer with social, cultural, and psychological issues. His investigations question austere borders and inevitable displacement. The exhibition also includes work from two recent graduates from the Maryland Institute of Art (MICA), Cat Camargo and Marisol Ruiz. Both artists make their debut with work that explores culture and time. Camargo’s grayscale, panoramic drawings merge dreamscapes, post-colonial traditions, and family history. Her active canvases layer narrative elements that abandon the hierarchy of loss and memory. Ruiz’s vibrant paintings pull reference from the artist’s upbringing in Güayanilla, Puerto Rico, where the remains of sugarcane production are still prevalent. She highlights traditional domestic spaces filled with rococo furnishings, florid glass, and intricate tiling. These spaces of memory tie together a lavish facade and the unexpected intimacy of colonialism.
C. Grimaldis Gallery is pleased to present Drift, an installation by local artist, John Ruppert. Through sculpture, video, and photography, Ruppert focuses on the wonders of the natural world and our role in its impermanence.
Ruppert’s ongoing Bergs series pairs found Vermont slate rocks with their mirrored aluminum castings. This juxtaposition of natural materials and man-made forms continues the artist’s investigation of human intervention. By simultaneously hiding and revealing his process-based practice, Ruppert provides the viewer with a harmonic balance between the earth’s own creativity and man’s effort to celebrate such vision.
Floating above the surface of his scattered rock forms, Ruppert plays video documentation of melting ice. The slate and aluminum respectively absorb and reflect the projected light, creating movement that preserves the experience of encountering semblance in nature. The installation is then encompassed by photographs of the melting arctic landscape. Ruppert zooms in on a particular moment, highlighting both the temporality of these structures and the awe of their compositions. Taken during a 2019 Arctic Circle Residency in the International Territories of Svalbard, these images divulge environmental urgency and the phenomenon of change.
John Ruppert has exhibited widely at institutions in the US and abroad including the UMBC’s Center for Art Design and Visual Culture (Baltimore, MD), Academy Art Museum (Easton, MD), Katonah Museum of Art (Katonahm, NY), Kreeger Museum (Washington, DC), OMI International Sculpture Park (New York), Montalvo Art Center (Saratoga, CA), Weatherspoon Museum (Greensboro, NC), and DeCordova Museum (Lincoln, MA). He is the recipient of many awards and grants, as well as installations and commissions at Ladew Topiary Gardens (Monkton, MD), the Baltimore-Washington International Airport (Baltimore, MD), and The American Visionary Art Museum (Baltimore, MD). Drift is the artist’s seventh solo exhibition at C. Grimaldis Gallery. Ruppert is a Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park and currently lives and works in Baltimore.