Recently, I have embarked on a new body of work that I call “painting with paper”. Through the use of hand-made, archival paper on board, these abstract images reflect formations of nature—geological phenomena, landscapes, fissures and strata. Some images allude to archaeological themes.
My work in sterling sliver pendants, pins and brooches reflect, as well, natural elements of water and geological textures—each a unique work of wearable art—signed and dated.
Previous work in painting and drawing center on the depiction of dated but commonplace everyday objects - the idiosyncratic graphic design of their labels or their function in recent history. Time is inferred in most works as time stood still. I give the object a sense of "place"—in an invented environment—what I call an invented landscape. Of importance to me is the object's place in time, a remembrance of pasts almost obscured in contemporary times.
Joseph Ruffo is an independent Lincoln artist. For nearly 20 years he served as the Chairman of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Brazil in 1963. Ruffo's artwork has been shown internationally and throughout the US in various juried and invitational exhibitions. His work has been exhibited in the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery of the City of Memphis; the Museum of Modern Art in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; the Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Museum of Nebraska Art. Currently his studio work is in painting and drawing on paper and designing and publishing limited edition books. His latest book is titled, On the Avenue of Eternal Peace: Poems by Liz Aul.