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Russ RuBert

1841 E. Bergman
Springfield, MO 65802, U.S.A.
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Phone: 417-864-7073
Email: russ@sculpture.net
URL: http://www.sculpture.net

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For more about RuBert’s work, see http://sculpture.net/exciting-new-artists/rubert

To read an interview of the artist, see http://sculpture.net/interviews/rubert

By Peter Gross

Russ RuBert is one of the outstanding artists living today. Although largely undiscovered by the art world, one has only to come in contact with his work to realize the uniqueness and brainy wit at play. In devoting my life and writing to the study of culture, I have had the opportunity to visit every major museum in the United States, Europe, and Japan, and certainly RuBert’s work merits more serious attention.

Perhaps one reason RuBert isn’t better known is that he resides in Springfield, Missouri, a sleepy Midwestern city that is the unlikely home for such a artist. Recently I had the opportunity to visit the artist at his studio and was amazed at what I saw. It is a huge industrial building with over 22,000 sq. ft. of studio space, better equipped than most institutions. With multiple large-scale sculpture projects going on it is like walking into a surreal vision where the normal and commonplace lose meaning.

A larger than life character, RuBert takes time away from a twenty-foot artichoke looking plant made of stainless steel to show me around and answer some questions. "Fusionism or rather Fusionist - that is what I am", he says. "I’m starting a new ism, want to join? It’s what’s happing to the world anyway, a dissolving and loss of indigenous characters, cultures, and artifacts, being replaced by a new synthesis, evolving largely unaware of the inherent incongruities. Space-balls meet Duchamp or any thing else you imagine is possible." To RuBert this Fusionism is what gives his work its startlingly original character.

RuBert, now in his mid-thirties is a product of the digital age. He grabs new computer technology and wields it with the comfort I believe only a younger artist can. Using both Mac and Windows systems, he maps out his sculpture in 3-D on the monitor, usually starting from just simple gestures on a pressure sensitive tablet. Pieces of the sculpture are analyzed for shape, mass, and center of gravity. Then using RuBert’s own techniques, they are exploded to a large scale and laser cut in stainless steel. The pieces are recombined, with the welding and finish work at the highest technical level I have witnessed in an artist. The final sculptures are truly remarkable to behold.

Sometimes the work is strikingly beautiful with smooth graceful curves and other times complicated constructions of light and color, RuBert’s work often seems contradictory, but it is always thought and emotion provoking. "I prefer the point of consciousness that is pre-verbal, by this I don’t mean non-conceptual, but rather the point at which cognition actually takes place." Such complicated ideas make for interesting works as RuBert charts new territory in the world of art.

For more about RuBert’s work, see http://sculpture.net/exciting-new-artists/rubert

To read a complete interview with the artist, see http://sculpture.net/interviews/rubert

Peter Gross, a freelance art historian, writer and lover of culture, can be reached at pgross@sculpture.net

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