Friday, October 3, 2014

Ruzica Zajec: Traveling Light

Coming all the way from Kaarz, Germany for a four-week residency at VCCA, Ruzica Zajec was forced to rethink things. She’s used to working with glass and large-scale installations. Traveling light, Ruzica replaced glass with paper and the wide industrial elastic she’s used in past large-scale installations with blue painter’s tape. Forcing herself to work differently, she produced stunning results.

Ruzica used the painter’s tape in her studio to create a series of intersecting, different sized rectangles that ignored objects and architecture already there. So as it moved across the floor, the edge of one rectangle went right over the studio tables, another cut across a window. The mirror was covered with vertical strips of tape that both fractured the mirror and also obscured reflections. In a way Ruzica is making the alien space her own, but also rethinking the concept of space itself.

Her drawings are simply beautiful. Luminous, shimmering curtains of graphite, which reference her more weighty (literally and figuratively) acrylic washes on glass, but have enough going for them to be stand-alone pieces.

Ruzica brought two catalogs of her work for the VCCA Fellows Library. She seems to be drawn to materials that are either transparent or translucent, often pairing them with things that contrast markedly with their smooth sleekness. It must have been challenging working in an unfamiliar way for a month, but in exercising different artistic muscles. Ruzica has produced a most interesting and impressive body of work that proves that old saw that necessity is the mother of invention.

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