Cold, Hard and Wet

December 11, 2009-January 30, 2010

Opening reception: December 11, 7-10pm

Silverman Gallery is pleased to present “Conrad Ruiz: Cold, Hard and Wet,” an exhibition of new paintings by Conrad Ruiz, on view from December 11 – January 30, 2010

The artist’s first solo show features large-scale watercolor paintings inspired by the epic scope of Hollywood cinema and history painting. Drawing from Gericault and Delacroix, as well as James Cameron, Ruiz’s expansive canvases unfold as kinetic and often explosive compositions, which capture moments of collective euphoria. Through these fantastical, excessive and bizarre tableaux Ruiz explores the ever-changing permutations of class, masculinity and race as they circulate through the popular lexicons that shape our collective imaginary. At once whimsical and formally rigorous, his work unfolds as a visual historiography, which traces the processes through which the contemporary becomes codified as the historical.

This particular body of work draws from the questing idioms of video games (such as Super Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda) to produce winter-themed landscapes that engage recent historical ruptures, such as the stock market crash and the recent economic downturn.

Conrad Ruiz lives and works in Los Angeles. His work is part of the Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive permanent collection and is currently on view in the Material Witness exhibition through December 20th.