For her Latest Show at Gagosian, Artist Nancy Rubins Turns to Children’s Toys
Since the late 1970s, Nancy Rubins has been engineering everyday materials into heroic forms that seem to defy gravity and all expectations. She has bound together mattresses, smeared them with a coating of Entenmann’s cakes, and suspended them from the ceiling; joined together a dizzying assortment of old boats and cantilevered them over a public plaza; and built an assemblage of steel, concrete, and electrical appliances that towered 45 feet into the air. Though her stunningly complex, monumental sculptures have been interpreted as commentary on consumer culture, Rubins is driven by formal and aesthetic concerns. As she explains: “The desire to make something beautiful out of whatever you have got appealed to me.” In all of her work, she both extends and challenges the tradition of modernist sculpture, experimenting with the interplay of gravity, balance, form, and beauty.
American, b. 1952, Naples, Texas, based in Topanga Canyon, California