Kay Ruane

Artist Statement

For years, I've been drawing figures inside a room with micro landscapes out the windows. I think of these drawings as dioramas, or tiny graphite worlds. 

At first, these drawings were formal imagery, as well as strictly black and white. Recently, I'm paying a lot more attention to details like the kind of flower, the title of a book on the table or a painting on the wall.  I want these details to relate to specific themes in each drawing, with a dose of humor and sexuality. 

Often the specific theme is related to a cultural disconnect, as well as a longing to be part of a physical reality and the culture it embodies. At the same time, there is a fear of actually experiencing the culture, or other world, represented by what is "outside the window."

The details are sometimes overabundant and take the drawing towards excess, literally invading the figure's space. There can also be a stereotypical or childlike association to the objects and landscapes, for example, a Disney-like imagineering of a "Safari" or a "Coronation." 

Even though I am the model for the figures in the drawings, I use my image as a starting place and each figure then creates her own life. I use the final figures to explore my own sense of identity and my relationships with the physical world, but the figures also develop their own unique identities and relationships. 

Bio

Kay Ruane is a visual artist who lives and works in Cambridge, MA.  Her work has been shown in galleries and museums around the country, including the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, the Carnegie Museum, in Pittsburgh, Lyons Wier Gallery in Chicago and New York, Jenkins Johnson Gallery in New York, Ohio State University, the Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA, the William E. Galberg Gallery at the College of DuPage, Indiana University and the Minneapolis College of Art & Design.  In 1997 she received a National Endowment for the Arts/Arts Midwest Fellowship Award and a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship grant.  In 1999 Kay was awarded the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant.  In 2002 she received the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center/Copley Society 2002 Residency Fellowship.  She has also attended residencies at the VCCA, Ragsdale Foundation in Lake Forest, IL, and received a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center.  Kay's work is represented in many public and private collections including the DeCordova Museum, Fidelity Investments, St. Paul Companies, Travelers Express, Cargill, Incorporated, and AT&T. 

Education

University of Illinois, Campaign-Urbana, BFA, 1979

Indiana State University

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016    Miller Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA

2011    Ellen Miller Gallery, Boston, MA

2008    Jenkins Johnson Gallery, NY

2007    Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

2006    Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

2005    Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004    Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

2002    Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

2000    Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, IL

1997    Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, IL

1991    MC Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

1990    Gallery K, Washington, D.C. 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017    Annual Retrospective, Tinney Contemporary, Nasvhille, TN

2016    Face to Face: Artists' Self-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye & Curtis Finch, Jr; Julie Collins Smith                  Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, AL

   Shades of Winter, Artshare LA, Los Angeles, CA

2015    Face to Face: Artists' Self-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye & Curtis Finch, Jr; Baker Museum of Art,            Naples, FL

2014    Loved and Observed, Hersh Fine Art, Glen Cove, NY

2013    Face to Face: Artists' Self-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye & Curtis Finch, Jr; Arkansas Art Center,    Little Rock, Arkansas

   OFF-SHOOT: Serial Explorations, 21c Museum, Cincinatti, OH

2011    The New Real, Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN 

2010    Summertime...., Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA and New York, NY

2009    Selected Works from the Collection of Arthur S. Goldberg, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

            Winter Haiku, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY and San Francisco, CA

            On Paper, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY and San Francisco, CA 

            Economies of Scale, Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

            The Artists of ZYZZYVA, Mina Dresden Gallery, San Francisco, CA

            Summertime, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY and San Francisco, CA 

2008    The Figure Today, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY

            Celebrate Summer, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY and San Francisco, CA 

            Artists Speak Out: Campaign Buttons 2008, Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

2007    Anniversary Exhibition, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 

            Representation, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY and San Francisco, CA 

            Summer Show, Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

            Fine Art Work Center Fellows, Copley Society of Art, Boston, MA

            Blue, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY

            Interiors and Works on Paper, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 

2006    Eighth Annual Realism Invitational, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA and New York, NY

            Celebrate Summer, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 

2005    Inaugural Exhibition, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY

            Small Works, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 

            Pretty Sweet: The Sentimental Image in Contemporary Art, DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park,                       Lincoln, MA

            7th Annual Realism Invitational, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA  

            Summer Show, Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

2004    Pretty Sweet: The Sentimental Image in Contemporary Art, DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park,                       Lincoln, MA 

            6th Annual Realism Invitational, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

            Copley Society 125th Anniversary Exhibition, Boston, MA 

            Celebrate Summer, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 

            Small Works, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2003    Women by Women, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 

            5th Annual Realism Invitational, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA 

            Small Works, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

            Unlikely Portraits, Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA

            Playtime, Miller Block Gallery, Boston, MA  

2002    Self as Muse, Copley Society, Boston, MA

            Harboring Beauty, Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, IL 

            Ragdale Foundation 25th Anniversary Show, Chicago, IL 

            Drawing Invitational, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL 

2001    Snow Globe Invitational, Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, IL 

            Gallery Artists: Summer Show, Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, IL              

            Venus, Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, IL    

            Spring Show, Copley Society, Boston, MA 

2000    National Competition, First Street Gallery, New York, NY, juror: William Beckman

            Group Show, Lyons Wier Gallery, Chicago, IL 

1999    Group Show, DFN Gallery, New York, NY 

            New Work, 1998-99 MCAD McKnight Artists, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN 

            Contemporary Women Artists, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, MN 

1998    The Human Figure/Contemporary Realism, Ohio State University, Mansfield, OH

            American Drawing Biennial 6, Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA

            AAP 68th Annual Exhibition, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA 

            Body/Trouble, William E. Galberg Gallery, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL

            Artists of the Midwest, Northern Michigan University Art Museum, Marquette, MI

            New Romantic Landscapes, Gallery Northwest, Indiana University, Gary, IN

            Realism, DFN Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Public and Corporate Collections

Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA

21c Museum, Louisville, KY

Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, Little Rock, AR

Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA

DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA

Sequel Development, St. Louis, MO

Kreindler & Kreindler, New York, NY

Cargill, Incorporated, Minnetonka, MN

AT&T, Minneapolis, MN

Federal Reserve Bank, Minneapolis, MN

Dain Rausher, Inc., Minneapolis, MN

Travelers Express, St. Louis Park, MN

St. Paul Companies, St. Paul, MN

Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA

Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL

Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AK

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