Sterling Ruby was born in Bitburg, Germany to a Dutch mother and an American father. While living in Pennsylvania, he attended the then three year NASAD accredited art school, The Pennsylvania School of Art and Design. From Pennsylvania, the artist relocated to Illinois where in 2001 he received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2003, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the MFA program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. While at Art Center he studied with artist Richard Hawkins, and theorists Sylvère Lotringer and Laurence Rickels. While attending graduate school at Art Center he was the teaching assistant for artist Mike Kelley. Sterling Ruby currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA
Sterling Ruby works in a large variety of media including ceramics, painting, collage and video. Often, his work is presented in large and densely packed installations. In opposition to the minimalist artistic tradition and influenced by the ubiquity of urban graffiti, the artist’s works often appear scratched, defaced, camouflaged, dirty, or splattered. Proclaimed as one of the most interesting artists to emerge in the twentieth century by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith, Ruby’s work examines the psychological space where individual expression confronts social constraint.
Ruby has exhibited at institutions including the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; Saatchi Gallery, London; MACRO, Rome; and Baibokov Projects, Moscow.
In addition to his solo exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (“SUPERMAX 2008”), Ruby has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Drawing Center, New York; La Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy; FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Riems, France and the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden.
Ruby’s work is in international collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Seattle Art Museum, Washington; and Tate Collection, London.