Paper has a very real and tactile appeal for me. My grandparents were in the scrap paper business, and my great-grandfather was a bookbinder in Russia. I’m attracted to paper’s fragility and pristine beauty- yet my work involves scarring, incising, burning and puncturing its surface. These processes are simultaneously destructive and constructive, providing an image that confounds reductive comprehension as drawings. The word “scarify” is etymologically related to stylus and script, and creating works in this way developed from my interest in language, books and the written word.
Artist Bio / CV
Donna Ruff grew up in Miami Beach, Florida, and was an award-winning children’s book illustrator in New York before earning her MFA at Rutgers University in 2000. Her work with books and graphics may have been genetically determined, since her great-grandfather was a book binder in Russia and her grandparents were early recyclers of books and paper in Chicago. She retains an interest in series and reproduction in her work, and often incorporates printmaking in her book objects and installations. Using unconventional techniques to make densely patterned drawings that refer to calligraphy and natural forms, she finds beauty and inspiration in sacred texts such as the Torah and the Qur’an, but also in the New York Times and the Manhattan phone book; in cathedrals, mosques and synagogues, but also in the warehouses of Chicago and Brooklyn.
Ruff currently lives in Brooklyn. She has been chosen to create site-specific installations at the Eldridge Street Project on the Lower East Side of New York, PS 122, and for ArtSPACE in New Haven, Connecticut. She received grants from the NewArt Center in Newton, Massachusetts, Manhattan Graphics Center, Vermont Studio Center, and the PS 122 Project Space. Exhibitions include Paper[space] at the Philadelphia Art Alliance; Qville, at the Flux Factory in Long Island City, NY; Making Your Mark on Paper, at the Brooklyn Arts Council; 4th International Graphic Trienniale in Prague, Czech Republic; Off the Wall>Rethinking the Print at NewArt Center; and Feedback: Artist to Artist at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany.
Upcoming exhibits include "Small Wonders" at Garson Baker Fine Art. An altered book project will be shown at BravinLee Projects in December 2008.
A more complete bio can be seen at http://www.dbruff.net/biography.htm