Nancy Rubins

1952 (Naples/Texas), lives and Works in Topanga/California

Studied from 1974 till 1976 at University of California (Master of Fine Arts). Nancy Rubins is well known for her monumental, gravity-defying, tower-like sculptures made of aircraft parts, electric devices or mattresses collected at rubbish tips. In contrast with sophisticated, precisely composed objects radiating their own beauty, she consciously uses material reminiscent of obsolete technology and the discarded waste of today’s consumer society.

In the course of her studies, Nancy Rubin encountered Antonio Gaudí’s extraordinary buildings as well as the work of Simon Rodia, the man who built Watts Towers in Los Angeles. This inspired her to start to work with found objects, designing her sculptures from the discarded material of today’s ‘throwaway’ consumer society. During this period she experienced an earthquake, which led to a change in the direction of her artistic creation. She was deeply affected when she saw the concrete walls of her apartment tremble. From this point in time she started to reflect on the instability of materials. In her works she experiments with the principles of gravity and movement and, as a result, delivers her essentially freestanding or hanging sculptures.

In 1993 she took part in the Venice Biennial and, two years later (1995), her works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2003, this renowned artist exhibited in Graz at Neue Galerie and, in the same year, at the Cartier Foundation in Paris. In 1991 the artist was awarded the prize of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation New York and, in 2003, she was honoured with the art prize of the American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York.