Sterling Ruby (b. 1972)
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Sterling Ruby (b. 1972)

Monument Stalagmite 3 (Beige)

Sterling Ruby (b. 1972)
Monument Stalagmite 3 (Beige)
signed and dated 'S. Ruby 2005' (on the base)
pvc pipe, plastic urethane, spray enamel and formica
137 7/8 x 35 7/8 x 27½in. (350 x 91 x 70cm.)
Executed in 2005
Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.


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Monument Stalagmite 3 (Beige) is a larger-than-life work that reveals Sterling Ruby's rebellious nature and innovative use of material. Echoing many styles and traits within the History of Contemporary Art, Ruby's work materialises as shifty, aggressive, bruised and anti-social. His adopted aesthetic is masculine in the sense that it is completely unpredictable: 'Everything I do holds a kind of gesture in it. For me, it's this kind of dramatic gesture. A truncated gesture. It's like an expression that was as one point very fervent and then it just gets kind of stopped. Using so many different and multiple mediums actually allow me to transfer different aesthetics. Contextually they have different meanings, but they often wind up encompassing this kind of aura that I'm talking about. I guess, again, it can be a type of beauty.' (The artist quoted in interview with H.M. Post, in Utopia Parkway, Brussels 2009. unpaged).
Ruby takes his influences from urban culture intertwined with Modernist Architecture and Ancient Art, concentrating on the mechanics within social structures. Form is crucial to his practice and the domineering examinations of minimalist principles have had a conclusive effect in his work. Like a modern day Clement Greenberg, Ruby enacts Minimalist codes to oppress, pervert and criticise its logical judgement. In Monument Stalagmite 3 (Beige), Ruby also embraces the fragility of a structure effacing the foundations established in its formations. The biomorphic form here is defined by its internal structure characterised by Ruby's social metaphor of Conceptualism, implicated by the relationship between individual impulse and methodical oppression. The stalagmite forms are burdened with social connotations and through repetition organically recognise the nostalgic entity of the Artist, 'I like to think of most of my artwork as monumental. That doesn't necessarily mean grandiose or big or important. For me the monument acts as a marker for something that was lost to the past, that we keep trying to get access to, but have no possibility of obtaining. I started thinking about the monument as a symbol of where my generation was in art history.' (The artist quoted from