Ruiz-Healy Art documents each solo and two-person exhibition with an extensive catalogue. To provide a thorough understanding of the artist and the exhibition, each catalogue includes an academic essay, artwork images and information and the artist’s curriculum vitae. The gallery seeks to foster academic research by providing complimentary PDF files of our exhibition catalogues. Catalogues may also be purchased at the links below or by contacting the gallery.
Michael Menchaca: Vignettes from San Antonio
Vignettes From San Antonio is an exhibition primarily focused on my turn to collage as a method to produce a series of drawings. I wanted to include traditional artworks where my hand was largely present in the works. I maintain a practice of constantly sketching on loose sheets of paper throughout my daily life. I am so used to producing artworks minimizing any evidence of my hand, as in my printmaking work, and I’m at a point right now where I am feeling a necessity to exhibit new kinds of work with entirely new subject matter. I knew I wanted to make personal work for my inaugural show at Ruiz Healy that did not focus on the divisions currently facing our country, which meant shifting the focus from objective analysis of current events and moving towards subjective, very personal and uncharted territory for me.
Mark Schlesinger: Hello Stranger(s)
Coming to understand Mark Schlesinger’s canvases—any one of them—demands a degree of sustained attention, reflection, and interpretation that prohibits generalization and reduction. Each painting is a world. [Each] needs to be seen time and again, described and discussed time and again […] It is equally clear that Schlesinger’s [pictorial] logic of touch is analogous to human contact, and to the meaning contact generates and is felt to bring to one’s separate self […] In Schlesinger’s art, painting transforms prosaic communication into an elevated pictorial expression of responsive seeing and feeling.
Richard Armendariz: Tell Me Where it Hurts
If There Are Words That Can Heal, Let Them be Painted Upon the World
John Phillip Santos
It doesn’t take a trained eye to regard the works of Richard Armendariz and know that he is a rare kind of maestro.
From the outset of his career, nearly twenty-ive years ago, he struck on an artistic persona that is an amalgam of artist, artisan, insurrectionist, and visionary, combining an ever more reined technical mastery of painting with an arduous practice of “crating” his works, whether seeking out synthetic materials to etch upon that will achieve a greater granular idelity for his block prints, or painstakingly wielding an industrial router to bevel and ornament his canny, mythic, and sometimes unsettling, narrative painted scenarios. He merged his long training as a painter with an early mastery of stone masonry (a vocation he practiced in Colorado), perhaps making it inevitable that his works would be exquisitely drawn, painted and carved.
Mel Casas: Iconic Reality
Melasio (Mel) Casas: The Permeable and Pourus Bordlerlands
Carlos Francisco Jackson
Ruiz-Healy Art’s “Mel Casas: Iconic Reality” features a body of work not shown together previously. Selected Humanscapes are juxtaposed with his more painterly applications (the artist later used a brushless application, where he poured paint directly on the canvas), mixing intimate and smaller works that really demonstrate the artist’s fixation on beauty and sensuality, with his grander-scaled political paintings, providing a well-rounded view of the artists oeuvre under one roof. In the words of Carlos Francisco Jackson, “Ruiz-Healy Art’s exhibition of Mel Casa’s work provides a window into his broad and impactful practice of challenging borders that create metaphorical, physical, and ideological divergences.”
Chuck in Context: Reminiscing About Chuck Ramirez
A conversation between Patricia Ruiz-Healy and Ethel Shipton. Recorded July 4, 2017.
Patricia Ruiz-Healy: Can you try to remember or recollect more about Chuck’s artistic career? Going from when you started seeing his Trash Bags all the way through his career?
Ethel Shipton: I think he was still living at the Botanica when he did Trash Bags. I remember that we bought some cheap trash bags from Handy Andy store, and on the box of trash bags, there was a picture of a bag that was tied up and filled with trash.
PRH: Chuck had such a keen understanding of graphic design and sharp eye!
ES: Yes! Chuck said that’s what inspired him to do the Trash Bags series.
ES: And then he said the inspiration for Piñatas, I think was from a birthday party at the compound [the nickname for the group of houses surrounding Sala Diaz], and I think we had a couple of piñatas. He gravitated towards the leftover broken piñatas, and then he started collecting them.
Johanna Calle: Trama
Calle states, “Almost all the works exhibited at Ruiz-Healy Art are examples of my interest in exploring ancient techniques of engraving, some of which fell into disuse. It also shows an interest in machines used in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, such as the iron hand press, or techniques invented in the eighteenth century, such as lithography. The old processes are for me a field of experimentation, when combined with interventions by hand or superimposing technical results from one process to another.”
Jesse Amado: BECOMING
Jesse Amado is an artist who has used so many materials, and whose interests are so varied, that it seems hard at first to reconcile the beauty, playfulness and humor in his art with its musings on the darker underbelly of existence. That said, he is consistent in that all of his work is intensely observational, and is shot through with the existentialist’s reverence for the authentic human experience. His ultimate aim—and the overarching goal of both his art and his life—is the realization of freedom.
Alana Coates, Ruiz-Healy Art
Perennial Boundaries examines the infinite thread that a manmade confine such as a geographical divide creates. The works included in this show provide the viewers with insights into the interests and concerns that have guided the creative impulses of these artists in their careers. Each artist is working in a unique and individualistic practice informed by their personal experiences from living on either side of the border. This exhibition is an eclectic mix of homage and critical discussions of living in la frontera and immigration issues.
Ruiz-Healy Art at IFPDA, New York, NY
Johanna Calle investigates the boundaries of lines with a preference for a black and white palette. Her exploration of drawing and pushing the medium into a wide variety of techniques are at the heart of her formal, conceptual practice. Her method of line making is that of a physical approach–one that includes wire, stitching, text, along with the more traditional use of ink and pencil.
Graciela Iturbide: A Lens to See
The images of Graciela Iturbide are endowed with great poetic force, as if emerging from a unique lyricism, where the photographer is not resigned to what is, to what the world is, but manages to reveal how visible it is through her eye. If the camera is a medium, Graciela’s imagination is the creation of her universe. It seems to follow the maxim of Novalis: “Nothing is more accessible to the innite spirit,” because “everything is related to the visibility of the invisible.”
Pedro Friedeberg: Praise of Folly
One of the master illusionists of late 20th century art, Pedro Friedeberg is enjoying something of a resurgent moment in the second decade of the 21st century. Ever since the 2009 retrospective of his work at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City coincided one year later with the definitive critical study on him, authored by James Oles, there has been a noticeable uptick in international critical, collector and museum attention toward his unique oeuvre. This recognition, insofar as it includes the U.S. art intelligentsia, is long overdue, as Friedeberg, who celebrated his 80th birthday at the beginning of this year, is one of the most celebrated living artists in Mexico, and his artistic trajectory, considered as a whole, is nothing short of remarkable.
Julie Speed: Undertoad
The question that arises time and time again with Speed’s work is what does it all mean? There is a physical presence to the work that draws people in; these are not works meant to be seen from across the room but rather up close, not glanced at but stared at intently. The artist wants us to look and to think about meaning, about storytelling, but there are no hard and fast answers to be had. In the post-modern tradition, the audience is not told what to think or how to interpret. The audience determines meaning; and the meaning can be different for different viewers at different times. Speed has written that when it comes to the question of how we are to interpret her works, “my thoughts, even my really, really deep thoughts, about them carry no more weight than anyone else’s.” Does that mean we are cast adrift like the people on the sinking boats Speed so often includes in the backgrounds of her compositions? No, not at all. We must rely on our own experiences, knowledge, and prejudices. In other words, we must rely upon what we have packed away in the cultural baggage we bring with us when we travel to Speed’s world.
Infinite Horizons: Abelardo López and Leigh Anne Lester
Alana Coates, David S. Rubin
Born in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca in 1957, López’s entire oeuvre has centered on the natural environment that he was immersed in as a child; however, López transforms the genre by pushing the medium of painting itself with his signature style of carved impasto and his devotion to the radiant light of the south.
Lester’s fascination and trepidation about the fact that humans and plants can be genetically altered has been the impetus for her ongoing series of hybrid botanical drawings…Using transparent drafting film in lieu of opaque paper, Lester developed a method of optically blending sections of disparate plant caritas by drawing separate species on individual sheets of drafting film and layering them to form cohesive images of mutant plants.
Jesse Amado: 30 Day Rx
Jesse Amado explores the aesthetic essence and significant existence of tangible objects, intangible notions and individual experience. Amado’s recent first-hand experience with illness and prescription drugs has brought him to consider the universal presence of pharmaceuticals, how they occupy our everyday lives in ways that range from simple self-indulgence to confronting pain and death. Here he focuses on medication, its beauty, power, and consequence. In true Amado form, the work enlightens and mesmerizes. Take a dose.
Constance Lowe: Air to Ground
Constance Lowe’s exhibition, Air to Ground, consists of highly textual geometric collages that are brilliantly colored and either set against semi-translucent drafting film or presented as shaped panel paintings. A single work’s composition often incorporates wool felt, photographs of clouds, peculiarly dyed commercial leathers, and muted passages of acrylic paint and colored pencil. Each collage in the series stands apart from the other in palette, arrangement, and scale, yet they have a kinship in that they all juxtapose traditional and unconventional artistic materials, and share visual and thematic threads.
Cecilia Paredes: The Wandering Flight
Parades calls the female subject of her photographs not “I” but “she,” or even more baldly, “the character.” Why is this an important distinction? Because performance temporarily dislocates personal identity from the physical body, and because in the art world, as elsewhere, woman as object remains, to borrow from useful current parlance, “a thing.” Performance-informed photography wields the power to upend this dialectical “thing.” Though Paredes’ work tells a different story than that of fellow-performer/photographer Cindy Sherman, for example, both female artists employ their bodies as actors, rather than as objects.
Ismael Vargas: Echoes of Mexico
John Phillip Santos
Vargas’s exquisite works are a play of flowing shapes and coursing edges, pure quantities precisely realized with a highly refined painterly craft. But these expressions are not rendered within a classical Euclidean geometry. Instead, Vargas is a geometer of shape-shifting mestizo forms, implicitly Mexican in their origins—merging echoes of the European Baroque and the Mexican Churrigueresque into a new vision.
Why is the Sky Blue?
Octavio Avendaño Trujillo
Why is the Sky Blue? explores the gradual shift within the modern tradition of abstraction, a shift where abstract signs are translatable and challenge the viewer from the poetic to the political. From this stems the inclusion in this exhibition of twelve artists from the United States, Mexico and Argentina, whose production encompasses works which date back to 1971 (Hersúa, Mexico) and extend to the present with Jesse Amado’s site-specific intervention. The purpose of this exhibition is to make us raise questions, to enable contemplative encounters and to make us critics of our contemporary society.
Ricky Armendariz: In the Belly of the Beast
Born in El Paso, Ricky Armendariz is known for his carved paintings and text-based imagery. The artworks consist of moody depictions in oil on panel of desert sunsets or night skies: subjects much beloved by Romantic painters such as J.M.W. Turner, but Armendariz landscapes contain power dynamics, Native American stories intertwined with Greek mythologies, and a thread of tragedy runs throughout. The text is inscribed in the discourse of the U.S./Mexico border using a dialogue combining both Spanish and English grounding Armendariz in his roots.
Ethel Shipton and Nate Cassie: Either or, or Both
Jenny Browne, Michael Theune
Based in San Antonio, Cassie and Shipton are a multidisciplinary creative couple, each known for exploring human perceptions of space and duration through a wide range of media and expression. As artists/curators, Cassie and Shipton have collaborated on Vacancy, a series of one-night projects in San Antonio, and have exhibited their individual works internationally. Cassie’s work deals with what he terms “spaces in between,” the gaps that distance surface from volume, skin and structure, formal and intuitive systems. Shipton’s practice is informed by a strong conceptual base and encompasses a variety of expression. Through painting, installation, photography, and text, Shipton spotlights instants of clarity that flit by in the comings and goings of daily life.
José Antonio Navarrete
The functioning image in contemporary culture is the place of discussion upon which the current artistic production of Andrés Ferrandis is set. This production starts off on the rails of the author’s intuition, perceptive experience, and emotive memory; however, at the end it arrives at that point in which it shares its profile of a refined, complex material configuration its visual seductiveness included therein with a reflexive potential of similar characteristics.
Cecilia Biagini: Far Edge
Patricia Ruiz-Healy, Adrian Geraldo Saldaña
Cecilia Bigini’s paintings, photograms, and reliefs, which look constructed and sometimes deconstructed, share the dichotomy of rigor and play. On one hand we are presented with a geometric order, with its values of lucidity and modernity, and on the other hand, an invitation to chaos, flux, disorder and the void which, more importantly, begin to create a new kind of space. The works capacity to convey movement can lead to a continuing vacillation and more significantly to a permanent sense of possibilities.
Diana Lyn Roberts
The landscapes of Abelardo López are rooted in the rich agricultural valley of his native Oaxaca. Richly textured and layered depictions of fields and pastures portray a quiet, harmonious, idealized vision of abundance revealed, paradoxically, through spare compositions built on wide, almost panoramic vistas and a painterly vocabulary of texture, light, and color.
Latin American Printmakers
The goal of this exhibit is to showcase varied techniques through the work of contemporary Latin American artists. Featured artists in the exhibit include: Juan Alcazár, Javier Arévalo, Pedro Diego Alvarado-Rivera, Modesto Bernardo, Jose Luis Cuevas, Benjamín Domínguez, Pedro Friedeberg, Alberto Gironella, Mathias Goeritz, Irma Guerrero, Sergio Hernández, Joy Laville, Nicolás Leiva, Abelardo Lopez Moreno, Eddie Martinez, Rodolfo Morales, Carmen Parra, Ray Smith, Shinzaburo Takeda, Francisco Toledo, and Roger Von Gunten.
Benjamín Domínguez: New Works
John Phillip Santos
Benjamín Domínguez’s approach to his subject matter covers a wide gamut of techniques: the bold use of color and simplicity in art, the classical preoccupation with detail, and re-interpretation of the Flemish school of art. He creates a fascinating and startling concoction of lavish gold repoussé and luxurious fabrics, contrasting classic renaissance themes with our current world of tattoos, motorcycles, myth, and magic. “The Baroque, allows me to get inside the human psyche and examine the good and evil that one finds there.” – Benjamín Domínguez
Janet Batet, Leslie Lund, and María Fernanda Barre
Work by Andres Ferrandis, Cecilia Biagini, and Marifer Barrero highlights color, texture, and rhythm. The uniting factor between these artists is their highly formal combination of these three aspects. The resulting gestalt incorporates stark purity of form as well as a satisfying balance between shape and space. Simple geometric and natural forms mingle to compose complete, tranquil scenes and structures.
Pedro Diego Alvarado: Recent Paintings
John Phillip Santos
Long rows of majestic grey and pale green magueyes rise like sentinels out of strips of brown earth in a eld the color of mustard, the whole vista glowing under a pearly blue, clouded-over sky. Then, what would seem to be an ordinary arrangement of sandía picada suddenly takes on the appearance of a ritual setting, perfect pyramidal slices arranged atop uncut watermelons in a circle that might be markers in a secret calendar that records passing moments in cosmic time. With these escenas, all from paintings in the great and growing oeuvre of the contemporary Mexican maestro, Pedro Diego Alvarado, we are in the presence of extraordinary acts of trans- forming witness, a practice of painting that invites the viewer to participate in this artist’s rare esoteric connection to the presence of the natural world, teeming with life, harboring hosts of unnoticed patterns and codes, a seemingly in nite archive of meanings that promise epipha- nies of beauty, wonder, and ine ability.