Edwin Ruda: The Band Paintings (1969 – 1972)

Edwin Ruda: The Band Paintings (1969 – 1972)

Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery at Molloy College

Edwin Ruda, Dutch, 1971. Acrylic on canvas, 84 x 54 inches.
April 1, 2014
Edwin Ruda: The Band Paintings (1969 – 1972)

March 6–April 28, 2014

Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery
1000 Hempstead Avenue
Rockville Centre, NY 11571
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–6pm, Saturday 10am–5pm, and two hours before theater events at the Madison Theater, Molloy College

T +1 516 323 3196


The Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery at Molloy College is proud to partner with Berry Campbell Gallery in Chelsea to exhibit Edwin Ruda: The Band Paintings, including paintings and works on paper from 1969 to 1972. Through the efforts and generosity of Christine Berry and Martha Campbell, the Kaiser Art Gallery has been fortunate enough to travel the Ruda exhibition.

Unafraid to step beyond stylistic boundaries, Edwin Ruda consistently probed the incongruities and connections between minimalism and the geometric and lyrical modes of abstraction. Ruda’s band paintings embody his efforts to reconcile these two divergent forms. The result is an elegant, radiant body of work. Loosening the flow of his paint, Ruda introduced pure and translucent bands of colors that are rarely part of minimalist statements. He then worked through the resulting contradictions without allowing structure or formlessness to dominate.

Peter Schjeldahl stated in 1973 that Ruda, “a painter of large, complex painterly abstractions,” was “an artist often overlooked in discussions of contemporary painting, but I believe one of the finest in America.” James Gleeson wrote in a 1974 review of Ruda’s show at Gallery A, Sydney, Australia, that the artist had found the “missing link between minimal art and lyric abstraction.”

Ruda was born in New York City in 1922 and grew up in the East Bronx. He graduated from Cornell University in 1947, having interrupted his studies to enlist in the navy during World War II. In 1949 he received a Master of Arts from Columbia University and spent the following decade studying in Mexico City, teaching at the University of Texas, and completing a Master of Fine Arts at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Ruda returned to New York in the early 1960s. By 1962 he had introduced hard-edged shapes into his art, creating arrangements with strong geometric and optical properties. During the mid-1960s he become a leading figure in the Park Place Group, the model for the activist and cooperative galleries that followed. The Group included artists such as Mark di Suvero, Forrest Myers, and Leo Valledor. Ruda’s style started loosening, evolving ultimately into the band paintings.

From the 1960s through the 1990s, Ruda’s art was featured in many of the most significant exhibitions of American abstraction, including Systemic Painting, at the Guggenheim Museum (1966); Cool Art, at the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (1968); two Whitney Museum biennials (1969 and 1973); and many others. From the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, he showed at the new gallery established by Paula Cooper on Prince Street in Soho.

Ruda’s work is in numerous public collections, including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut; the Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; the Empire State Plaza Art Collection, Albany, New York; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin; the Indianapolis Museum of Art; the Katonah Art Center, New York; the Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; the Udine Museum of Art, Italy (collective gift organized by Thomas Hess); the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina; and the William Benton Museum of Art, Storrs, Connecticut.

The exhibition will run through April 28. A color catalog will accompany the exhibition with an essay by Christine Berry.

The Band Paintings was exhibited at Berry Campbell Gallery in New York City in January/February 2014. Berry Campbell is located in the heart of Chelsea at 530 West 24th Street on the ground floor.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10am–6pm and Saturday 10am–5pm, and two hours before theater events at the Madison Theater at Molloy College. The gallery will be closed from April 17 to 22.

For more information, please contact:
Kaiser Art Gallery: [email protected] / T +1 516 323 3196
Berry Campbell Gallery: [email protected]


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Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery at Molloy College
April 1, 2014

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