McClain Gallery is thrilled to present a two-person exhibition with British painter Christopher Le Brun and American sculptor Brie Ruais. Both artists find commonality in a conceptual approach to materiality that emerges from their direct, physical handling of their mediums. With a foundational basis in gesture, color, surface, and above all, texture, they embrace the inherent qualities of their respective materials while finding new and unexpected ways to transcend genres.
Brie Ruais’ work in the exhibition reflects the breadth of her process-based practice, wherein she uses her body as the only tool to manipulate a mass of clay equal to her body weight. Her physical connection to the process is evident by the works' appearance; hand marks and deep striations meet where footprints end, becoming a map and acting as an extension of a particular place in the way the clay is marked by the press of her body as well as the surface she wedges it into. The movement found in the work corresponds to the movement of the human body, forming a language between the viewer and the piece itself. Found objects pressed into the surface of the wet clay, both natural and manufactured, further develop each piece's story and texture. Her first institutional solo exhibition, Brie Ruais: Movement at the Edge of the Land, curated by Frauke Josenhans, Associate Curator, Moody Center for the Arts, is currently on view at The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University in Houston, TX.
Christopher Le Brun’s paintings call attention to the color and physicality of mark-making to elicit painting's inherent poetry. Le Brun’s drawing, sculptural, and printmaking practices are apparent throughout his new work through his decision to draw directly onto surfaces with the paint tubes or move the pigment around with a palette knife. This energetic application creates highly worked tactile surfaces that lend depth and spatial complexity to Le Brun’s works. With a reverence for British landscape painting and nature, his paintings seek to reveal truth to the eye through color and invite the viewer to enter a dialogue by means of atmosphere and light.