306.729.4484 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 133 Donovel Cresc., Regina Beach, SK S0G 4C0
Gerry Ruecker is a self-taught artist, photographer and art educator based in Regina, who has for the past thirty years been working primarily in mixed media sculpture and sculpture/furniture.
Gerry’s work method is completely intuitive and spontaneous in nature, with pieces developing in an organic, unplanned fashion. Individual works generally go through numerous stages of transformation and development before they finally reach the end stage of creation. This process manifestly disallows the creation of smaller scale prototypes. “The completed works reflect the course of my life: unplanned, raw and rough by general standards, somewhat over the top, yet displaying a degree of beauty nonetheless”.
Gerry’s major creative influences include the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, Swiss kinetic sculptor Jean Tingueley, Australian constructivist sculptor Robert Klippel, and the Italian Design group Memphis.
Gerry has exhibited frequently in Canada and Jamaica in solo and group shows, including the 2008 Jamaica Biennale, and his work can be found in numerous public and private collections, both nationally and abroad.
The works included in Un/Discard: Re/Form include pieces culled from three similar but distinctive bodies of work created in the period between 2016 and the present. They all include a strong emphasis on found/reclaimed/junk objects presented in a new context.
I have in the past few years, been exploring the inclusion of substantially raw and organic materials in my practice, examining and challenging the definition and usage of what is commonly considered junk. Discarded and cast off objects, such as fragments of old furniture and building materials, rusted pieces of metal, and various other disused and disposed of items are prominent, highlighting their unique, well-worn beauty. These crude, rough objects are blended with and enclosed within a mash-up of cheap, highly decorative baroque-influenced picture frames. The resulting pieces embrace contradiction on numerous levels, functioning as both an homage to, as well as a caricature of a centuries-old style still viewed as ‘classy’.
My work embodies and embraces contradiction on many levels:
● the highly mismatched materials used (‘classy’ picture frames adorned with highly rusted bits of metal and used building materials);
● the traditional attitudes toward the individual elements (‘elegance’ is classy and prized, ‘rust and decay’ is junk to be thrown in the trash);
● the rough construction techniques utilized in a finished piece that upon first glance might be mistaken for something from grandmother’s collection of priceless heirlooms.
My method of working is intuitive and spontaneous in nature, with pieces developing in an unplanned fashion, having no preliminary formalized intent or visualization of either how the final product will end up, or what the various materials involved in each piece might be. My works grow alongside and often despite my best intentions, until the pieces seem to declare themselves completed. The finished product is raw and rough by conventional notions, and it flirts with excess, while at the same time attempting to achieve a certain level of skewed elegance.
Thank you for your presence at my exhibition, and I sincerely hope you enjoy viewing my work.
"Common Truths continues my work of examining how challenges facing Indigenous people today can be identified and addressed artistically with reference to traditional teachings and concepts. (...)Because the lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples under colonial dominance represent a set of Common Truths, this project looks to another shared manifestation within Indigenous cultures to confront them: the organization of social structure and roles as represented by the clan system and the totems. For purposes of this project I use the corresponding Anishinaabe/Ojibway term doodem. [The works and titles] outline the connections I am making between the five classes within Anishinaabe clan structure [using four representative doodem per class] in order to confront 20 common truths impacting Indigenous people. References drawn from the TRC, the media, and/or the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, are included for each of the 20 Common Truths."