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Ruth Mordecai: New Works on Paper

July 14, 2018August 12, 2018

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Trident Gallery is very pleased to present a third solo exhibition of paintings by Ruth Mordecai.

The mode and premise of Ruth Mordecai’s art is alchemical. Her collaged paintings are transmutations of ephemeral experience into more legible and enduring forms, and these passionate expressions in turn effect mental transmutations in their viewers.

Grounded in representations of the human figure and evolving motifs of symbols, Mordecai’s paintings are containers into which it is her talent to collect, with warmth and wisdom, glimpses of what is beautiful and valuable in the world — gesture and dance, harvested fruit and the sun — symbols of our shared humanity and culture.

Her works of art gather these tokens in forms full of movement, and their richly-textured surfaces suggest layers of personal and cultural memory informing the present moment. Her impulse toward abstraction is a process of distillation, and her sustained attention to the holy and redeeming elements of life has the force of prayer.

Mordecai’s work aims to be ever more inclusive and more powerful. Some of the work in this exhibition responds to a teaching, described in a 13th-century Kabbalistic text, that a letter is missing from the Hebrew alphabet. When revealed in the future, the sound of this “unimaginable consonant … will create undreamed of words and worlds, transforming repression into loving” (Lawrence Kushner, The Book of Letters: A Mystical Alef-bait, 2d ed. 1990, Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, p. 13).

The exhibition will coincide with the publication of a book offering an overview of Ruth Mordecai’s distinguished career. Trident Gallery will host a book signing on Sunday, July 22, at 3pm.