Ruth Gurvich

— Delicate 'paper' you can eat out of.

Looks as if you could take any old sheet of paper and sculpt into this...if only I had the skills. Photo by Jérôme Galland.

I’m starting to believe that architects make better artists than 'artists'. On Nowness, there’s a video series featuring the homes of hip creatives. These are people who seem to scream "Hey everyone! I am an artist." Maybe it’s the nature of being a pop culture celebrity. I’m sure what they do is extraordinary, from fashion design to song writing, but their homes all look the same.

On the other hand, there’s a series called "In Residence", featuring homes of architects and prominent artists and designers. Rather than showing how 'quirky' their personalities are, the works resoundingly shows how original these professionals are.

Ricardo Bofill wears a suit in his video, looks like a respectable guy. One walk through his home and you’ll see how out of the box insane he is. Ian Simpson has a completely different style. The order and precision throughout his home seems to emphasize the things that are not orderly and precise: the trees, plants and lighting from the sky. In each of these videos, the style of the creative permeates through every item, from tables to utensils, beyond just walls and windows.

"For me, it all starts with the shape. I start completely from scratch. Then I make a construction plan, just like a designer designing a chair or an architect drawing a house. This was something I had to learn; my first pieces using paper were very clumsy. The difficulty lies in constructing exactly the right shape." - Ruth Gurvich; Photo and quote via nymphenburg.com

Perhaps that’s why I am drawn to the work of Ruth Gurvich. Initially, Ruth studied architecture than she switched to art. Architecture seems to emphasize a physical understanding of materials more than art. If I were to study architecture, there would be more physics classes than if I studied art. How something lasts, wears over time, looks in a particular space—those are considerations beyond the controlled vacuum of a gallery.

"She established a reputation with her three-dimensional works made of paper, which pursue a delicate, wholly distinctive aesthetic. In her designs, she cannily makes the most of the materiality of paper – as a working material, it enables her to introduce light, movement and vitality into things." Photo and excerpt via nymphenburg.com

From Ruth’s porcelain works, anyone can see how much she understands the physical qualities of paper. Enough to create it from an entirely different material.

art