The visual world of the painter Christoph Ruckhäberle is peopled by odd hard-edged figures, standing in front of coloured rhythmic backgrounds. Colourful drawings of faces recall carved masks, composed from a rich and playful vocabulary of forms. These forms, and the wealth of colours in Ruckhäberle’s works, are broken not only by skewed visual angles or perspectival inconsistencies, but also through the use of expressionist and surreal borrowings. For this exhibition, Christoph Ruckhäberle is presenting two groups of works from his most recent output. The numerous drawings of over-long, alienated, coloured faces in the first group bear witness to the artist’s delight in experimentation. The vivid colours, as well as the chiselled and schematic effect of the facial features, lend the faces a mask-like quality. The pictures evidence a freedom in the play of forms, arrangement and alteration of the proportions of the face. The distribution of sharply separated colour fields over the surface of the picture plane reveals Ruckhäberle’s affinity with the linocut, a medium with which the artist has worked for a long time. Born in Pfaffenhofen, Bavaria, Ruckhäberle studied animated film between 1991 and 1992 at the California Institute of Arts Valencia, and graduated in his Master studies in Leipzig under Prof. Arno Rink. Manifesta 7 in Trentino, Italy (2008), the Life After Death exhibition at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2007), Triumph of Painting in the Saatchi Gallery, London (2006), and Mass MoCA, Massachusetts (2005) are some of the numerous venues at which his work has been shown.
Heike Munder (curator of the Migros Museum, Zurich)