At Arms Length, 2021
Glazed ceramic
38 1/2 x 60 x 33 in
(97.8 x 152.4 x 83.8 cm)

Ruby Neri (b. 1970, San Francisco) draws upon 20th century West Coast traditions as well as a global catalogue of art historical and anthropological modes. She depicts the human body as a porous instrument of pleasure, terror and everything in between; this places her within a lineage of contemporary Los Angeles-based artists which includes Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy and Charles Ray, while her penchant for hand-driven craft connects her to the Bay Area Figurative and Funk movements.

The ceramic vessels that have dominated her production recently evoke both earthy tactility and psychological intimacy. Neri’s use of sprayed glazes links her ceramics to the street art she produced in the late 1990s as a member of what would become the San Francisco-based Mission School, connecting a contemporary urban art form with the archaic power of pre-historical wall-painting. The women depicted in Neri’s ceramic vessels, paintings and pastels are both fabulous and frantic, and allude associations of women on the brink of self-destruction and ecstasy.