Ruby City Acquires Works by BIPOC Artists, Including Jesse Amado, Rick Lowe, Deborah Roberts & Others

by Jessica Fuentes December 27, 2021

Ruby City, a contemporary art center in San Antonio, has announced its acquisition of 23 works by 11 artists, deepening the institution’s holdings of works by artists of color. The new acquisitions include pieces by artists previously represented in the collection — Jesse Amado, Arturo Herrera, Isaac Julien, Glenn Ligon, Christ Ofili, and Deborah Roberts — as well as a handful of artists not previously represented — Sonia Boyce, Hew Locke, Rick Lowe, Milagros de la Torre, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Elyse Gonzlaes, director of Ruby City discussed the acquisitions in a press release: “By welcoming these works into the collection, the Foundation continues to manifest [founder, Linda] Pace’s vision to represent the communities it serves with contemporary art that aims to inform and illustrate the world in which we live today.”

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2021. Acrylic paint and paper collage on canvas. © Rick Lowe, courtesy the artist.

Notably, the acquisitions include three Texas-based artists, Jesse Amado, Rick Lowe, and Deborah Roberts. Mr. Amado’s sculpture, Were you seen? I don’t know. Does it matter? was the most recent acquisition and was a gift from Rosina Yue and Bert Lies. In the sculpture, Mr. Amado stacks letters from the title text on top of each other, obscuring the words. Mr. Lowe’s large-scale abstract painting uses imagery reminiscent of the game of dominoes, and is part of a larger series of work by the artist that investigates dominoes as a signifier of community. Ms. Robert’s mixed media collage on canvas depicts a young African-American boy attempting to look larger and older, and references the double standard faced by young Black men who are expected to grow up sooner than their White counterparts. The work, Cock-a-doodle-doo, is currently on view in her solo exhibition, I’m, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The exhibition was organized by The Contemporary Austin, where it was on view from January 23 – August 15, 2021.

Large-scale collage of a young Black boy looking straight ahead. The figure wears neutral colors though the cut-off shirt has an abstracted image of a red rooster and the knee length cargo shorts have a horizontal stripe pattern. The figure is set agains a plain white background.

Deborah Roberts, Cock-a-doodle-doo, 65 x 45 inches, Mixed media collage on canvas, 2020. © Deborah Roberts. Linda Pace Foundation Collection, Ruby City, San Antonio, Texas

Other acquisitions from this year include thirteen works by Arturo Herrera. Mr. Herrera gifted a set of works including mixed media pieces , lithographs, etchings, and cyanotypes ranging from the early to mid-2000s. San Antonio arts supporters Lee Anthony and J. Travis Capps, Jr. gifted the museum a copy of the Rivington Place Portfolio, which includes photographs, prints, and collaged editioned works by artists Sonia Boyce, Isaac Julien, Glenn Ligon, Hew Locke, Chris Ofili, and Carrie Mae Weems. The museum also acquired Recollection #1, a sculpture by Milagros de la Torre. This work is part of a larger series that examines identity, power, and control, while simultaneously paying homage to Ms. Pace. 

See the new acquisitions and more on Ruby City’s collection website.

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Maria M Williams December 29, 2021 - 10:26



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