International printmaker and Class of ’64 Endowed Professor of Art and Architecture Nicholas Ruth is offering a virtual tour of his latest exhibit This Way, featuring several new series of print media pieces. Ruth’s exhibition, on display at Colleen Buzzard Studio in the Anderson Arts Building in Rochester, N.Y., has been closed to visitors in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An award-winning artist, Ruth’s work has appeared in more than 100 exhibitions nationally and internationally, including shows in China, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and South Korea. Ruth was named a semifinalist for the Print Center’s 92nd Annual International Competition in 2018, earning the Bomb magazine award, and his print “Looker” was featured in the 31st annual McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition at McNeese State University. A dynamic professor and mentor, he teaches courses in drawing, painting and printmaking.
Ruth has spent the year working with artists and printmakers at Mirabo Press in Buffalo to develop a series of large-scale etchings of the cell towers that he drives by frequently. “I’m always struck by their presence in the landscape, as feats of engineering, objects of visual interest and symbols of our dependence on technology for communication,” he says. He conceived of the intaglio prints as idealized portraits, in that the depictions of the towers are accurate but they are placed in different surroundings in order to “emphasize their peculiarity and importance,” he explains.
With the help of Elijah Weiss ’20, Ruth has been experimenting with pasting prints directly on the wall. After printing colors on Japanese Kozo paper, Weiss cut the sheets into a variety of sign shapes that Ruth used to compose representations of the backs of street signs. Ruth has also been experimenting with magnets, paper and steel bars “to give the pieces a level of physical presence and low relief from the wall,” he says. Like the cell towers in his intaglio prints, Ruth passes many of the signs in this series on his daily commute.
Signs in Landscapes
A series of screenprints of billboards and signs in empty landscapes, created with the help of Micah Lynch ’18 in the summer of 2019 at the Katherine D. Elliot Studio Arts Center and a series of Jigsaw Monoprints made with the help of Space Vinyl’s Drew King ’14, rounds out Ruth’s exhibition. “Color is the major driver of the visual impact in these pictures,” Ruth explains, “while the imagery refers to the overwhelming noise of signage that we are surrounded by no matter what environment we’re in.”
More About Nicholas Ruth
Ruth earned a B.A. in studio art from Pomona College, interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and earned an M.F.A. in painting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. At HWS, he has been recognized with the HWS Faculty Teaching Award as well as the HWS Faculty Prize for Scholarship. For more information about Ruth’s work, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.nicholashruth.com.