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David Kordansky Gallery
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Ruby Neri at David Kordansky Gallery


In Ruby Neri’s new exhibition, bluntly titled “Wall Works,” a gaggle of ecstatic women span the gallery. This body of work, featuring curvy women made in ceramic and spray painted with bold colors and black lines contouring their bodies, is significantly wall-bound. It’s an unusual format for ceramics to inhabit, bringing the pieces into the realm of painting or pictorial narrative and further away from the vessel form with which ceramics are often associated. Neri’s mostly-nude figures kick, jump, and climb over each other throughout the works, their wide eyes, large lashes, and red lips confronting the viewer with unapologetic fervor.

The largest work in the gallery, “Monkey on My Back,” features a clothed woman on a massive white horse who tentatively looks back at a small nude sprite standing behind her and pulling her hair. The piece positions the jumble of bodies across the show as psychological embodiments of selfhood — the women inside us that unabashedly prop us up at times and inhibit our behavior at others. No internal voice is devoid of political and cultural influence, and yet Neri’s women — many of whom exude a sense of celebratory confidence in their own skin — provide a sense of freedom and wildness in a culture that actively represses female liberatory power.

On view: September 17 – October 22, 2022

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Photo: Jeff McLane, courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery.