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closed David Ruff. Seeming Confines

The show

Curated by Valentina Roselli and David Ruff Archive

Painter, graphic designer, printer, poet and intellectual.
New York artist born in the Bronx, often associated with American abstract expressionism, difficult to place in a specific current or within demarcated borders.

Activist involved in major political campaigns for civil rights, in Alabama, Mississippi, Upstate New York and Washington DC Lover of nature ("a golden leaf, a pebble, a crack in a wall, a snail, the shape of the fields ...") and of the created form (poetry, literature, music and visual arts).

David Ruff (New York, 1925 - Turin, 2007), who lived in Piedmont between Baldissero, Bagnolo and Turin for over thirty-five years, is at the center of the "Seeming Confines" exhibition at the Don Quixote Space of the Bottari Lattes Foundation

Curated by Valentina Roselli and David Ruff Archive (chaired by his wife Susan Finnel), the exhibition aims to bring Ruff's works from the 1970s to the attention of the public, to deepen the impact that the transfer from the United States to Europe had on his work.

An exhibition that aims to investigate the new creative impulse that the encounter with the Old Continent stimulated in the artist. In 1969, in fact, Ruff and his wife with their little daughter, left New York to move first to Amsterdam, then, in 1971 to Piedmont, settling in Europe, from where their families had migrated at the beginning of the twentieth century to land in the States. United. Ruff lands in Europe looking for a new expressive sensitivity, putting himself to the test in the encounter with European culture and tradition.

The title of the exhibition “Seeming Confines” coincides with the title of a painting by Ruff inspired by the work Endymion (IV, 513) by John Keats , an author much loved by the artist and who often nourishes his research. It is a title that directly recalls the passion for literature and the poetic and musical character that permeates all of Ruff's works. At the same time, the reference to apparent borders intends to underline how difficult it is to define Ruff according to a specific style or an artistic current: his work is a journey with undefined boundaries, without the urgency of a definition.
It has often been associated with American abstract expressionism, a pictorial relationship that Ruff enriches, but from which he consciously detaches himself. Ruff was able to reflect on the American and European artistic tradition, also influenced by Italian masters such as Botticelli, Tiziano, Veronese, Tintoretto and Giorgione, achieving a unique style, with avant-garde characters for his ability to always look beyond the sensibilities of his time. In him very marked is the coloristic trait, between light and vibrant atmospheres, between soft and strong colors, which gives nuances and shades to reality, dreams, sensations, emotions.

Inauguration: Thursday 7 March, 6.00 pm

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Via Della Rocca, 37
10123 Turin


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