Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to check out Connecticut's only museum devoted to contemporary art: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in the picturesque town of Ridgefield. There were several great shows on painting, but the one that completely grabbed me was Ruth Root: Old, Odd, and Oval, presented in their lobby and floor-level galleries.
Ruth Root's 20 year career has often involved a self-conscious art historical exploration of painting, especially the color fields of Abstract Expressionism. More than paintings, I saw the works of oil on enamel, plastic, plexiglass, canvas, and other materials as vibrant personalities in their own right. I hope these brighten your day as they did ours!
Almost like quilts or textiles, the patterns play, clash, and interact: clementine orange, opaque lavender, fuchsia stripes over snow-leopard-like spots, airbrushed dots, '90s marbling, and friendly, rounded scallops—we happily drank in these and many other playful elements of the large-scale, fun forms that clung closely to the walls, suspended from nails by inset grommets.
There was also a small gallery featuring collages on paper—small studies for the larger pieces in the show, and others not shown.
This show is still so vibrant in my mind two weeks later, and woe is me not to live closer to the Aldrich to get another look.
Thanks for reading!