Joyce J. Scott, Breathe, 2014. Hand-blown Murano glass, beads and thread. © Joyce J. Scott. Linda Pace Foundation Collection, Ruby City, San Antonio, Texas.
Ruby City is pleased to announce the acquisition of renowned contemporary artist, Joyce J. Scott’s 2014 sculpture, Breathe. Depicting a red Buddha giving birth, Breathe speaks to the incredible bond between a mother and child while showcasing the artist’s remarkable technical skill. A former McArthur Genius Fellow, Scott has worked since the 1970s in a variety of media, including quilting, performance, jewelry and sculpture, continually testing the limits of craft-based materials, and combining classical notions of beauty with a larger social commentary.
Breathe features Murano-blown glass and beadwork in the form of a seated female figure. A beaded snake coils around the woman’s neck and head like a crown and glass frit darkens the face of the otherwise translucent object. The red woman sits with crossed legs in reference to the seated Buddha, a key figure in Scott’s practice. The faces of both mother and child are constructed with vague detail communicating themes of sanctity and distance, like those of ancient fertility figures.
Scott was among the first Artpace residents (December 1996-Janaury 1997) along with several others including Paula Santiago and Alejandro Diaz whose work is included in the Linda Pace Foundation permanent collection. Throughout her career, Scott has created work that addresses issues surrounding race, social justice, gender, class and violence. Often citing historical figures and events, Scott uses these examples within her work to help viewers better understand our contemporary society. Premised within a familial lineage of storytelling, Scott embeds narrative into her work, communicating stories in part through her material palette. Pristinely crafted, Scott’s objects imbue complex and occasionally-problematic themes with light materials, such as glass, creating a compelling dialogue between darkness and light.
Breath joins the formidable range of feminist and female-focused works of art in the Linda Pace Foundation permanent collection. When presented, Breathe will complement works by artists including Wangechi Mutu, Xu Bing and Sarah Charlesworth, whose practices explore and reflect upon similar themes of spirituality, gender and the body.