Ruby City’s “Tangible/Nothing” Exhibit Evolves From Miniature Version

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“Tangible/Nothing,” Ruby City’s new exhibit, comes in two forms: there’s one that fills the galleries, and there’s a tiny version nestled in a model of the building.

The second version is equipped with scale renderings of nearly every work in the exhibition, each miniature piece made by artist Jeremiah Teutsch. Ruby City director Elyse A. Gonzales, who curated the exhibit, used a Ruby City Galleries model’s pieces as a way to work out some of her ideas as she researched the best way to exhibit the works. It’s possible to do this digitally, but Gonzales prefers a more tactile approach.

“It’s great to be able to take the miniature works and just put them where you want – analog style,” she said.

The exhibition, which explores the meaning that can be found in the absent and the banal, is the first she has curated for the space. It’s also only the second exhibit to come to Ruby City since it opened in 2019.

“I’m trying to figure out what this space can and can’t do,” she said.

Teutsch, an artist who works in a variety of media, created labels for Ruby City. He also has a fondness for models, and he created them as part of his process when he was a production designer for the AtticRep theater company. This is the first time that Teutsch has put these skills at the service of a museum.

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Where: Ruby City, 150 Camp St., San Antonio

When: On view until July 30.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Sunday

Admission: Free

Information: rubycity.org


“Getting the look and scale right is fun,” Teutsch said. “At scale, everything is so small that the smallest thing can ruin everything.”

It took him about a month to create the designs for “Tangible/Nothing,” which includes around 50 artworks.

“A lot of them were small paintings and photographs and stuff, so it’s relatively easy,” he said, noting that he printed and mounted small renderings for these works.

Teutsch did not create a small version of Milagros de la Torre’s “Systems and Constellations”, a set of seven mirrors etched with star configurations: “I couldn’t estimate their size, so I just didn’t those.”

With the three-dimensional pieces he made, he aimed to create models that were as detailed as possible. The small version of “Untitled (Further East)”, a delicate parasol by Rirkrit Tiravanija, includes the ribs that line the inside of it. And the miniature of Dorothy Cross’ “arms,” ​​a pair of disembodied silver limbs, bear tiny raised fingers similar to those in the original.

Teutsch mainly worked with mat board and a foam core for the models.

Jeremiah Teutsch has created scale models of most of the works in “Tangible/Nothing”, the new exhibition in Ruby City. This includes thumbnail renderings of, from left, “Arms” by Dorothy Cross, “Bitchen Stove” by Katie Pell, and “Untitled (Further East)” by Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Robin Jerstad

He took special care with “Bitchen Stove,” a bright pink device that was part of the “Bitchen” installation that the late San Antonio artist Katie Pell created for Artpace in 2006. It has the same racing stripes that run through its version, as well as tiny dials on the front and square-shaped indentations sunken on the back.

“It was just out of deference to Katie. Since we were buddies, I thought I’d take a little more time on her piece,” said Teutsch, a matting and framing technician at the McNay Art Museum. “We have one of his ‘Bitchen’ things here, so I had that as a reference as well. It’s a washing machine, but it’s the same sort of thing.”

Pell’s “Candy Dryer” is on display in McNay’s Sculpture Gallery.

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The biggest challenge Teutsch faced was Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s “Cloud,” a swirl of silver leaf and titanium alloy on fiberglass suspended just below the cage skylight. main staircase. The hardest part was getting the money just right.

“I hadn’t really worked with polymer clay before, but I figured it would work,” he said. “I’m glad he did.”

Jeremiah Teutsch shows off the model he made of the Dorothy Cross play

Jeremiah Teutsch shows the model he made of Dorothy Cross’s play “Arms”. Cross’ work is included in Ruby City’s “Tangible/Nothing” exhibit.

Robin Jerstad

He captured “High Gloss,” a 1991 installation by Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler consisting of 80 paint cans, in a small photograph. The model of this piece was particularly useful to Gonzales. Looking at the actual painting itself, it looked huge, so she was considering mounting it on its own on one of the gallery walls. Putting Teutsch’s piece in the model showed that in the context of space, it wasn’t quite as gigantic. Gonzalez started looking at pieces that would make sense on the wall with it.

She said that when working on the exhibit, she often stopped in the conference room and spent anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours with the model, moving the pieces around to get a feel for how they worked together. compared to others. Gonzalez took photos with his phone to document everything.

“Each time you do this, you’re essentially creating a chapter in an overarching visual narrative/theme,” she wrote in an email. “Equally important, however, is making sure the works are presented in their best light. You never want to ‘let the art down’, so to speak, so you’re constantly looking at ways to visually convey your ideas to audiences. viewers while showing each work at its best, or perhaps in an effort to reveal another aspect of it that might not be so obvious.”

Jeremiah Teutsch made tiny models of works in the new Ruby City exhibit "Tangible/Nothing," including Rirkrit Tiravanija "Untitled (Further East)."

Jeremiah Teutsch made tiny models of works in Ruby City’s new exhibition “Tangible/Nothing”, including “Untitled (Further East)” by Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Robin Jerstad

The exhibit evolved further once the actual works were in the galleries, and Gonzales was able to see how things worked at eye level, which was impossible to assess with the model. There is also the distinctive character of the gallery spaces to consider.

“The walls aren’t always at 90 degree angles and these galleries also contain a lot of volume with amazing spaces,” she wrote. “All of this volume affects how the works appear once they are in space. times, you may want to emphasize this shift in perceived scale as it aligns with your curatorial point of view.Ultimately, it’s about intimately understanding the ideas you want to convey, the works themselves and the spaces so you can create the appropriate narrative or feeling for the audience.

[email protected] | Twitter: @DeborahMartinFR

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