Esther Ruiz "Wells" Plexiglass, Neon and Hardware 23” x 13” x 3”
Inspired by space operas, pop culture, geometry and the setting sun, Esther creates objects that operate simultaneously as miniature landscapes from a distant future (“A planet with neon cosmic dust rings and a triangular shaped moon, which align perfectly as they slip away from the sun…”) and actual size sculptures informed by the family of Minimalism. The cylinder, the semicircle, the triangle, and other Euclidean forms are combined into colorful and expressive freestanding sculpture. She tops cast cement columns with Plexiglas triangles, neon arches and fractured geodes in a way that leaves viewers thinking of (among other things) Dan Flavin, Pink Floyd and the stark beauty of the desert.
The newer works, shifting away form the cylindrical forms, but still adhering to a strict material diet, act as objects from these landscapes. Some act as tomes, containing foreign information; others as stand-ins for familiar domestic objects but with fundamental idiosyncrasies. The series of Wells, began in 2014 as wormholes or portals to these other worlds. By reflecting the viewers and also warping them and their surroundings, the Wells, placed above eye level, induce one to look beyond or through their current place. As sparse and concise as these pieces are, this work is replete with inherent feuds. Esther somehow manages to investigate and celebrate both fictional landscapes and material honesty. It is elegantly abstract and evocatively representational and, in the way she positions synthetic and natural materials together, she creates a tiny battle over those materials’ permanence in relation to each other. (more on profile: http://www.memphis.edu/amum/exhibitions/stoppinginmemphis.php)