Kathy Ruttenberg: Sunshine at Midnight
On ViewLyles & King
March 19 – April 30, 2022
I have to write this right now, having just experienced this at the opening of the opening.
No way possibly to encompass the experience of coming into this performance/exhibition/sculpture/massive momentum-ness. Some of it moves about (AS THE WORLD TURNS, 2022) and as we move about, our heads turning, we feel our perceptive world turning also. Visionary (and am I quoting Isaac Lyles the gallery owner? If not, why not?) and actually, that is a perfect query for this utterly extraordinary spectacle: why not?
Has anyone ever (this is a rhetorical question) thought/seen/activated the observer this way? Sunshine at midnight indeed! From and in every crevice in every stone, creatures are peeping out or lying down: butterflies all over and everywhere. Nothing feels left out and everything feels included. From a while back, THE MOMENT AFTER of 2008, we see that from a dead body now blossoms forth a tree, living after dying. Tears come to the eyes, not just my eyes: something about this spectacle speaks to all of us. That’s really it, we are surrounded by a sort of joyousness.
Stones are speaking philosophically and poetically here, no, speaking in poetry itself, and speaking surely: “She was one with her garden” of 2020 and “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” created in 2022, this year itself. Funny thing how the stoneware here and the immense or less immense in size, like the opening piece: Defaced, how these magnificent and whimsical and immensely playful and serious at one and the same time, all around us, feel both spontaneous and from always.
No Stone Unturned was created—that is the word, created—in 2011, when Kathy was creating already, gleaming already at us all over everywhere, in stoneware. Look at the very last work listed on the pages of paper, I will still treasure: Narcissist of 2014. But above all, I treasure from again and now, this year, THE AWAKENING of 2022: that is the spirit and the heart and the sunshine vision Kathy Ruttenberg is offering to us all right now.