Converting the gallery into a quasi attic space replete with distressed wooden floor beams and shortened headspace, Stiler presents us with a new context to consider her anthropomorphic forms. The transformed exhibition space oscillates between a site that seeks to create value in an object (gallery), and one that renders the same item useless (attic). Four sculptures, which are situated against the faux locale, drift between these two states, marking a potential for their ultimate physical or emotional demise.
High and Low Relief refers not only to the tactile qualities of Stiler’s work, but to the comic variety that permeates her cartoon-like simulacra. Employing a variety of familiar art supplies (foam, wood, nails, acrylic resin, etc.), the materials are transformed so that they project and operate on a higher platform. Initially adopting an authoritative presence, the sculptures undermine their referenced counterparts through Stiler’s deft use of humor.
At first glance, the sculpture No Legend is strikingly authentic: its archaic silhouette incorporates classical iconography culled from ancient Greek and Roman sources. However, upon closer inspection, the canonized references, (spanning the centuries and traversing civilizations), quickly gives them up as peculiar interpretations of the real thing. Such suggestions of fraudulence become the pivot upon which Stiler makes her case, as she questions ideals of authority, the creation of value, and the standards used to judge beauty and historical accuracy.
Ruby Sky Stiler lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from The Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from Yale University in 2006. Stiler has participated in exhibitions internationally, including recent shows at Sandroni Rey, Los Angeles; Kantor/Feuer Window, New York; DUMBO Arts Center, Brooklyn; Annarumma, Naples, Italy, Guild & Greyshkul, New York; Sunday Gallery, New York; and Allston Skirt Gallery, Boston.