featuresa featured item from THE LIST
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Ruth Hardinger at Long Island University

Installation shot of the exhibition under review
Installation shot of the exhibition under review

As if the quite stunning survey of portrait photographs of women artists by Barbara Yoshida was not reason enough to hot foot it to the Long Island University Brooklyn campus, a mesmerizing sculpture installation by Ruth Hardinger in LIU’s Humanities Gallery, a fish-bowl space in a much traversed campus lobby, clinches the deal. The Basement Rocks draws together disparate forces: the artist’s passionate ecological activism, her longstanding affinity with Mesoamerican creation myths, and historically informed, critically sharpened investigations of sculptural methods. The results betray this diversity to achieve a powerful unity. Her work fuses the melancholy presentness of Doris Salcedo, the archetypal resonance of Barbara Hepworth, the moral weight of Joseph Beuys (his 7000 Oaks comes to mind), the drama of Magdalena Abakanowicz and the material probing of Eva Hesse. As Hardinger at once poetically and pragmatically puts it in an accompanying statement, “The Basement Rocks is not an illustration – it is an artistic expression to honor the activity and vitality in a place we don’t see that yet contains profound levels of life.”

The Basement Rocks, Long Island University, Humanities Gallery, 1 University Plaz, Brooklyn, on view through May 15.  Photo: Robert Lowell

This exhibition was an ARTCRITICAL PICK in April 2015