Education
2001
M.F.A., Printmaking, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
1998
B.F.A., Double Major: Art History/Printmaking, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
Teaching Experience
2004-’11

Senior Lecturer, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Courses:
Introduction to Printmaking: Intaglio, Lithography, Relief, Serigraphy
Intaglio – class blog link
Serigraphy
Relief Printmaking
2001–’04
Lecturer, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Courses:
Introduction to Printmaking: Intaglio, Lithography, Relief, Serigraphy
Senior Seminar in Studio Art
Concepts and Issues in Contemporary Art
Beginning Drawing
Two-Dimensional Art
1999–’01
Instructor of Record, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Courses:
Beginning Drawing
Life Drawing
Grants/Awards
2010
Bad Girls for Good Art Award, The Ohio Art League Annual Fall Juried Exhibition, (Juror: Christopher Bedford) The Shot Tower Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
2008
Avamaa Art Symposium Project Grant, MOKS, Mooste, Estonia
2007
Jury Award, Beyond Printmaking, (Juror: Anita Jung) Landmark Arts Gallery, Texas Tech University School of Art, Lubbock, TX
2005
Dresden (Germany) Residency Exchange, Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, OH
2004
Jury Award, Annual All-Ohio Juried Art Exhibition, Pearl Conard Art Gallery, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, Mansfield, OH
2001
Edith Fergus Gilmore Materials Grant, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2001
Preparing Studio Art Faculty Grant, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2001
Edith Fergus Gilmore Materials Grant, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2000
Robert Squeri Award, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
1997
Arts and Humanities Student Grant, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
1996
Printmaking Award, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
Selected Exhibitions
2012
*Sleep, Room, Canzani Center, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH
2012
ArtPrize 2012, Grand Rapids, MI
2012
Artists Among Us, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY
2011
New Prints 2011/Autumn, International Print Center New York, New York, NY
2011
Kiss, (Curated by: Mary Vanwassenhove) The Clara M. Eagle Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY
2011
Printed Matters, (Curated by: Blake McAdow) The Shot Tower Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
2011
*I Think We’re Alone Now, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN
2011
Enough, Already, 13 E. Tulane Gallery, Columbus, OH
2011
New Prints 2011/Winter, International Print Center New York, New York, NY
2011
Visiting Artist/ New Faculty Exhibition, Swing Space Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2010
The Ohio Art League Annual Fall Juried Exhibition, (Juror: Christopher Bedford) The Shot Tower Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
2010
Regionalism: New Art By North American Printmakers, DIVA, Eugene, OR
2010
60 WRD/MIN Art Critic, Roy G Biv Gallery, Columbus, OH
2009
83rd Annual International Competition: Printmaking (Jurors: Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett) The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA
2009
Drawing it out, The Kuhn Gallery, Marion, OH
2009
Joy Divisions, (Curated by: Eva Ball) The Van Gallery, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH
2008
Avamaa Art Symposium, MOKS, Mooste, Estonia
2008
Works of Art on Paper, (Juror: Charlotta Kotik) Long Beach Island Foundation, Loveladies, NJ
2008
Ways of Knowing Water, OSU Urban Arts Space, Columbus, OH
2008
On, Of, and About Paper, (Jurors: Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett) Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA
2007
A Sense of Place, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, GA
2007
Silkscreens, New Prints 2007/Summer, International Print Center New York, New York, NY
2007
Paths to the Press, (Juror: Denise Bookwalter) Dicere Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2007
Beyond Printmaking, (Juror: Anita Jung) Landmark Arts Gallery, Texas Tech University School of Art, Lubbock, TX
2006
Sidewalk, Roy G Biv Gallery, Columbus, OH
2006
Foreign Affairs, Ständehaus, Dresden, Germany
2006
Artist Proof, Pearl Conard Gallery, The Ohio State University, Mansfield, OH
2006
Lecturer’s Exhibition, Hopkins Hall Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2005
line with paper, (Curator: Anja Brüggemann) Ohio Art League, Columbus, OH
2005
Nearly, Mahan Gallery, Columbus, OH
2005
Off the Press, LeFevre Art Gallery, The Ohio State University, Newark, OH
2004
Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, (Juror: Gail M. Brown) James M. Cox Fine Arts Center, Columbus, OH
2004
Annual All-Ohio Juried Art Exhibition, (Jurors: Jeffery Jones, Natalie R. Marsh) Pearl Conard Art Gallery, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, Mansfield, OH
2004
Visiting Artist/ New Faculty Exhibition, Hopkins Hall Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2003
4th Annual Printmakers Exhibition, 2B Named Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2003
Ohio Art League 2003 Spring Juried Exhibition, (Juror: Peter Madden) Acock Architects Building, Columbus, OH
2002
*Romantic Photographs, The Wayne and Geraldine Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery, The Ohio State University, Marion, OH
2002
79th Annual Spring Show, (Juror: Sandy Skoglund) Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
2001
*Romantic Photographs, M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, Clean Space Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2001
Dance of Death, Exposures Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2000
The 2000 Graduate Student Exhibition, Hopkins Hall Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2000
Facelift, 2B Named Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2000
The Ohio State Printmaking Program, The Wayne and Geraldine Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery, The Ohio State University, Marion, OH
2000
Satellite, Silver Image Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
1999
The 1999 Graduate Student Exhibition, Hopkins Hall Gallery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
1998
Fall Series, The Phoenix Gallery, Buffalo, NY
1998
*B.F.A. Exhibition, Gallery 234, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
1997
3rd Student International Art Biennial, Museum of the City of Skopje, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
1997
Opening Exhibition, Redroom Inc., Buffalo, NY
1997
Fine Arts Exhibition, Upton Hall Gallery, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
Other Professional Experience
2005–’12
Temporary Exhibition Design Staff, Exhibitions Department, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
2011–’12
Contingent Exhibition Design Staff, Exhibitions Department, The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
2012
Juror, 6th Biennial Juried Print Exhibition, Northern Arizona University Museum of Art, Flagstaff, AR
2011
Exhibition Coordinator, Printed Matters, The Shot Tower Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
2010-’11
Co-Director/Curator, Vince Chocolate Gallery, Columbus, OH
2010-’11
Member, Board of Directors, The Shelf Gallery, Columbus, OH
2002-’11
Judge, Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2010
Co-Curator, The Delusion of Eating, The Shelf Gallery, Columbus, OH
2000-’02
Printmaking Presenter, Martin W. Essex School for the Gifted, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2001
Presenter, 2001 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum, Arts Division, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2001
Faculty, Summer Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2000-’01
President, Student Printmakers Association, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
1999
Printmaking Consultant, Children’s Educational Installation, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Bibliography
2012
Christopher Bedford, “Autobiography As Abstraction”, Sleep Exhibition Catalog,
Room, Canzani Center, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH
2012
Eva Ball, “Sleep’s Not Unwelcomed Monster”, Sleep Exhibition Catalog, Room,
Canzani Center, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH
2011
Mary Vanwassenhove, Kiss, Exhibition Catalog, The Clara M. Eagle Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY
2010
Lori Waxman, 60 WRD/MIN Art Critic, Roy G Biv Gallery, Columbus, OH
2009
Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett, 83rd Annual International Competition: Printmaking, Exhibition Catalog, www.printcenter.org
2009
Eva Ball, Joy Divisions, Exhibition Catalog
2009
Libby Rosof, “Hot of the presses-The Print Center finds its inner kid”, The Art Blog
2007
Claudine Ise, “Faculty Meeting”, Columbus Alive, September 20 – 27
2007
Christopher A. Yates, “August Entries”, The Columbus Dispatch, August 5
2007
Anita Jung “Juror’s statement”, Exhibition Catalog Beyond Printmaking, Landmark Arts Gallery,Texas Tech University School of Art, Lubbock, TX
2006
Nicholas Hill, Bellamy Printz, Wendy Collin Sorin, Foreign Affairs: The Ohio and Dresden Residency Exchange, A Retrospective Print Exhibition, exhibition catalog, Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, OH
2005
Christopher A. Yates, “Common Item Given Uncommon Treatment”, The Columbus Dispatch, August 21
2005
Ann Starr, “Ohio Art League Has a Great Show at a Bad Time”, The Other Paper, August 18-24
2005
Melissa Starker, “A List, Close Proximity”, Columbus Alive, July 13 -20
2005
Ian Williams, Nearly, Artist Book/Catalog, Mahan Gallery, Columbus, OH
1997
3rd Student International Art Biennial, exhibition catalog, Museum of the City of Skopje, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Visiting Artist Lectures
2012
Visiting Artist Lecture, Kiss, The Clara M. Eagle Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY
2009-’11
Guest Lecturer, “What is Creativity?”, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2008
Ways of Knowing Water Artists Panel, OSU Urban Arts Space, Columbus, OH
2006
2005
Visiting Artist Lecture, Art Foundations Program, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond,VA
2005
Visiting Artist Lecture, Concepts and Issues in Contemporary Art, The Ohio
State University, Columbus, OH
1998
Visiting Artist Lecture, Printmaking, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Artist Assistant Positions
2009–’12
Dorothy Gill Barnes, Columbus, OH
2008–’12
Sid Chafetz, Columbus, OH
2005
Allan McCollum, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
2005
Malcolm Cochran, Cochran Studios, Columbus, OH
2004-’05
Todd Slaughter, Todd Slaughter Studio LLC, Columbus, OH
2004
Georg Heimdal, Columbus, OH


Autobiography As Abstraction

In 2001, three curator—Stephen Melville, Laura Lisbon, and Philip Armstrong—organized an exhibition for the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH, entitled As Painting: Division and Displacement. In one of the most concise summations of the exhibition’s premise articulated in the accompanying catalogue, Armstrong and Lisbon note “there is nothing in the presentation of the work in As Painting that identifies it in terms other than a questioning of its own identity, nothing here that is not an incessant pursuit of the limits of what painting is, and thus nothing that does not attempt to show painting’s own exteriority—its divisions and displacements—in and as painting.”1 By including work by artists including Donald Judd, Robert Smithson, and Anne Truitt in the exhibition, and insisting that their work be considered as painting, the show effectively argued for a radical broadening of the medium’s ontology, by discounting media as the decisive criteria, and instead focusing on painting as a discursive space.

 

Although this thesis alone has not produced or defined the conditions of abstract “painting” in the 21st century, the curators’ contention aligns seamlessly with the work of a young generation of artists today who pursue and produce painterly effects, and engage conventional painterly problems, without squeezing paint out of a tube or mixing pigment with water. One interesting consequence of this still-new focus on the discursive space of painting, as opposed to a narrowly defined, medium-specific one, is that artists can remain connected to the world around them on the literal level of materials, while still producing objects that engage the pictorial conventions of paint on canvas. This tendency can be and has been called many things: social abstraction, painting by other means, or unpainted painting; no doubt other descriptions have been coined.2

 

Ian Ruffino’s work participates in this emergent tradition. Obdurately abstract in appearance, his work is, in fact, a frankly autobiographical enterprise, perhaps not representational, but certainly representative and very much of the world. Made very often from clothes Ruffino has purchased and worn, his works are as much of him as by him. One of his earliest mature works, Blue Outfit, Winter (2004), is an emphatic example. Identified as a screen-print on embossed paper, the work is substantially more complex in structure and concept than that media line would suggest. The origin point for Blue Outfit, Winter, and for many works to follow, was Ruffino’s decision—a formal decision in the artistic sense and a lifestyle choice as well—to limit his wardrobe to a palette of blues. Ranging in origin from Comme des Garçons to the local thrift store, these clothes were worn and washed over the course of two winters. The collected garments were then pulverized, compressed and embossed to produce a roughly square support, more like particleboard than paper in thickness.3 Ruffino then used this palimpsest as the ground for a slightly raggedy, off-white square, applied to the surface using a simple acrylic silkscreen technique. The result is a deceptively elemental object, years in the making, that balances formal experimentation with what might be called material autobiography.4

 

Although few of Ruffino’s subsequent works are as hard-won as Blue Outfit, Winter, many follow the same logic of production: garments purchased and worn by the artist are variously manipulated to form the ground for an abstract composition. The support—whether stretched thin or thickly dense—is an account of a life lived outside the studio, but always in anticipation of that eventual fate. Thus, Ruffino connects art production unavoidably to a social narrative, turning the traditionally inward facing, existential terms of abstraction, abstract painting in particular, on their heads to realize a body of work that will always be an account of his life, as much as it is a record of aesthetic choices. Almost certainly Ruffino did not set out to produce anything like a painting or to be called of all things a painter, and in any past generation, that term would not have been used to describe what he does. But in the present, the laden material connection he has developed between his work and the world around him is strikingly emblematic of what abstract painting has become, and is becoming.

 

 

Christopher Bedford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Philip Armstrong and Laura Lisbon, “As Painting: Problematics” in Philip Armstrong, Laura Lisbon, and Stephen Melville, As Painting: Division and Displacement (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2001), 28

2 “Unpainted Paintings” was the title of an exhibition organized by Alison Gingeras in 2011 for Luxembourg and Dayan gallery in New York.

3 It is interesting to note that because Ruffino’s clothes are also art supplies, he is able to claim them as a tax exemption.

4 Another work in this exhibition, Uniform Restraint (2006), is made from the lint Ruffino collected from washing the clothing that became Blue Outfit, Winter.

http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Microscript-Exit-Detail.jpg
Microscript Exit


http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Microscript-Exit-Detail.jpg
Microscript Exit


http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Anonymous-Text-detail.jpg
Anonymous Text


Blue Outfit Winter


http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Fiction-detail-1.jpg
Fiction


http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Lake-Bottom-Mooring-Detail.jpg
Lake Bottom Mooring


http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/learning_detail.jpg
Learning German Kugelschreiber
18" x 18"
Ball point pen on paper
2005
http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Missing-Pronoun-detail.jpg
Missing Pronoun


http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Untitled-Fiction-1d.jpg
Untitled Fiction 1


http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Untitled-Fiction-2d.jpg
Untitled Fiction 2


http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Untitled-Fiction-3d.jpg
Untitled Fiction 3


Writer


http://ianruffino.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/a-rip-is-a-misfortune-a-stain-is-a-vice-full-detail-.jpg
A rip is Misfortune a stain is a vice


http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/andyouwanther_detail.jpg
and you want her
23" x 23" x .5"
ink jet, intaglio, serigraphy, watercolor, collage, ballpoint pen, and acrylic on pierced paper and felt
2010
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/misspelledword_detail.jpg
Misspelled word
23" x 23" x .5"
embossed paper, watercolor, colored pencil, and thread on Arches Text sewn to a stack of hand-made paper
2010
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/bodyofwater_side.jpg
Body of Water, Fixed
20" x 20" x .75"
an edition of lithographs sewn together with bookbinding thread
2009
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/lakeeffectdetail.jpg
Lake Effect
20" x 20"
intaglio
2006
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/downpourdetail2.jpg
Downpour
watercolor and colored pencil on cement
20" x 20" x 2"
2006
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/uniformrestraintdetail.jpg
Uniform Restraint
20" x 20"
Screenprint and thread on lint
2006
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/steelkiltsseadetail.jpg
Steelkilt’s Sea
20" x 20"
Lithography and intaglio
2006
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/blushingdetail.jpg
Blushing
30" x 30" x .75"
Watercolor, offset screenprint, and thread on embossed paper
2005
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/spongedetail.jpg
Sponge
20" x 20" x .5"
Thread, acrylic offset, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper
2005
Not Saying Saying
20" x 20"
Thread, acrylic offset, wite-out, and watercolor on embossed paper
2005
Sister
20" x 20" x .5"
Acrylic and watercolor on paper
2005
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/familyphotodetail.jpg
Family Photo
14" x 14" x 1.25"
Watercolor-offset and acrylic on paper
2005
Having Only Ever Lived With Women
20" x 20" x .5"
screenprint, thread, and colored pencil on embossed paper
2004
Blue Outfit, Winter
20" x 20" x .5"
Screenprint on embossed paper
2004
Traumatic Photograph/ Romantic Collage
20" x 20" x .5"
Offset screenprint, colored pencil, ferric oxide, and acrylic on and in paper
2004
http://ianruffino.com/old/gallery/images/allmyveinsreturningdetail.jpg
Stained and Touched-up Romantic Photograph, All My Veins Returning
20" x 20" x .5"
Touch-up paint, screenprint, ferric oxide, spray enamel, and multiple blue materials on paper
2003
Stereograph: Cut and Torn
6" x 12" x .625"
Screenprint and acrylic on paper
2004
Romantic Photograph #11
20" x 20" x .5"
Screenprint, watercolor, and ferric oxide on paper
2002
Romantic Photograph #10
30" x 30" x .5"
Screenprint, watercolor, and spray enamel on paper
2002
Romantic Photograph #4
20" x 20" x .25"
Screenprint, watercolor, ferric oxide, and spray enamel on paper
2001