Born in California, USA, in 1982
Lives and works in Brooklyn, USA
Brie Ruais obtained a BFA from the University of New York, and in 2011, a Master from Columbia University, New York. Ruais’ work is centered on a complex process through which the artist’s body plays a primordial role. Her ceramic reliefs and sculptures appear to be fragile, yet evidence remains of the dynamic and rough process by which they were produced. Large amounts of clay, equivalent or superior to her own weight, are trampled, stomped on, pulled at, extended and pushed into corners. The yielded abstract forms are a direct manifestation of this physical action. Ruais fires her ceramic with bold, multi-colored glazes. These sculptures are an exploration of process and material, and bring new attention to the historic, often underrated tradition of ceramic art.
The artist has chosen to work specifically with clay because it is a material traditionally associated with crafts and women. The work Untitled (Missed meeting points – pink and green) (2014) reflects these preoccupations. The work confronts the fact that its form and surface is inextricable from the social and cultural aspects of women’s lives. The malleable nature of clay before it is fired, and its complete transformation into a hard lacquered surface reference feminist ideas and theories that advocate more fluid borders between the genders.
Ruais explains that ceramic allows her to have physical interaction with the material, rather than working through the bias of a tool (i.e. a paintbrush) or a machine (i.e. a camera). This direct contact with the material allows her to explore the meaning of the movements and gestures involved in working with clay. In Perimeter with Crumple Center (2013), the finished product is revealing of the process, creating a constant dialogue between the two separate parts of the work. This work reveals Ruais’ interest in the relationship between the environment, territory and the body. The circular form of the work refers to the delimitation of a space or a territory. The work retains every trace of the acts and gestures Ruais has made on the clay, and becomes a kind of cartography of her movements.