Saturday, April 02, 2016


That's Radicchio, acrylic on archival paper construction
12.5 x 11.5 x 2 inches repost of my article.

Beautifully woven structures along with flat paintings populate the walls of Cris Worley Fine Arts by artist Rusty Scruby. I was reluctant to write about the show, because internviewed Scruby. However, the work kept revisiting my thoughts, so I was compelled to write about the work.

Rusty Scruby has shown quite a bit over the years in Dallas, so I have become familiar with his evolution in his art. Most people know him for his photographic structures. His father’s photos and later his own were used to create some images that resembled cubism in light of the digital age. Unlike David Hockney’s photo collages which were cut in more of the style of cubism, Scruby would create a strong pattern of slightly varied repeating images. I saw this past work in relation to time, movement, and blurred memory, rather than purely referencing Modernism. Also, unlike Hockney, Scruby wasn’t capturing a moment like most photography, but rather he was creating a kind of anti-photo that attempts to simulate the capturing of memories. A photographed moment can be contained, but a memory is less clear, less definable, and can’t be recalled perfectly I also understand that Scruby sees mathematical patterns in life, which inform his work. The past shows felt fast and broken apart and that is why this show is a radical departure from those shows.

This show titled Firesticks, captures a moment like a camera, only these are paintings. Some works are more like musings on pattern, but others depicting cactus plants which feel slowed down compared to his past work. Scruby is meditating on these objects and patterns, so the images are clearly defined as if he is staring at the objects and attempting to record them in his head as he see them. Some distortion is occurring through his woven structures, but the image is still stable and quiet. It was clear to me that Scruby was attempting to keep these objects still unchanged in his memory, which of course, is impossible. Still, worthy pursuit when remembering someone close to you.

Rusty Scruby’s flat work took me by surprise, mainly because I had not seen this work from him in a gallery setting. I assumed he worked and sketched out ideas, but this was a real treat to see work that related to his dimensional structures. I don’t know why I found the pattern paintings on pattern structures so fascinating, but these also felt like a departure from his old series. The painting Bright Shade seemed to explode out like a mathematical cascade. I guess the pattern felt like I was tapping into a little what Scruby sees in the world.

Cris Worley Fine Arts with have Rusty Scruby’s Firesticks show up until March 26th. After which will be Timothy Harding with an opening on April 2nd. Knowing his work, I will likely be compelled to write about his show too. I hope it is as good as I expect it will be.

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