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Paul Laster, Art&Object, December 4, 2020

Two additional Los Angeles shows add new meaning to traditional craft mediums: Brooklyn-based sculptor Brie Ruais at Night Gallery and Japanese floral artist Megumi Shinozaki at Nonaka-Hill. Ruais constructs vigorous ceramic abstractions in nature from the weight of her body in clay, while Shinozaki fabricates delicate floral displays with paper, wire, and rocks.


Ruais’s exhibition, Spiraling Open and Closed Like an Aperture, presents a powerful group of clay sculptural works, which the artist created in Nevada’s Great Basin Desert, along with a selection of dynamic drone photographs of the works in situ and a stone wall made from rocks that she collected on her road trip from Northeastern Nevada to L.A. Using her body as her only tool, the artist pushed the equivalence of her body weight in clay into riveting abstract shapes on the ground and then removed the pieces to be glazed, fired, and reformulated on the gallery’s walls.


Closing in on Opening Up, Nevada Site 6, 127lbs, depicts an eternal sunshine divided like a clock; Turning Over, 128lbs of clay and another of rocks and rubble portrays two complementary spirals composed from clay and rocks; and Opposing Tides, Shaping Forces presents a mural-size structure, which mimics the vastness of the desert’s horizon line, that was made in the artist’s studio by two people pressing their weight in clay towards one another. The photographs and stone wall add an arid ambiance to the white box, while providing new ways for the artist to express her earthy yet spiritual vision.