The Drawers  -  Birgit Ruff  Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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The “Chemical Wedding” Series

Miniatures draw the viewer closer to the visual in order to participate in the intimacy. Persian miniatures utilized graphic elements, outline and low modeling to clarify the subject. Birgit Ruff does the opposite. Using the literary work The Chemical Wedding as her inspiration, she creates the illusion of deep recesses, pools, tunnels, forest glens and labyrinths within the small formats. Her colors are subtle and organic like vegetable dyes. The indigo blues, viridian greens, ochres, siennas and earth tones abide while the reds are cochineals like the backs of beetles. Framed in deep boxes and floating in their glass encasements just above the backing, their fragility is enhanced. They seem too delicate to touch. We might crush the fragile complexity with our clumsy fleshy fingers.

Birgit Ruff has painted with roses. She has pressed their pretty petals on paper until they have surrendered to her manipulations and formed a mandala.

In larger works, organic content with tendrils, organs, veins, leaves and florets map internal systems while the ecological reigns with assurance. There are sexual allusions, not just in her use of the male and female reproductive systems as subjects, but in the generative association of her forms. With rhythmic appropriateness, connections are made between the parts and the whole. The work is balanced, vibrant and at peace, reassuring us in our modern stress that this earthly existence is a nourishing, wondrous one.

Copyright © 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers