Sterling Ruby

decade

1970s

1972

Sterling Ruby is born in Bitburg, Germany.

1970s 1973

Sterling Ruby grows up in Baltimore and New Freedom, Pennsylvania.

decade

1990s

1995

Sterling Ruby sees the Bruce Nauman retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and considers it a formative experience for his own art.

late 1990s 1999

Amanda Ross-Ho meets Aaron Curry and Sterling Ruby through Ruby’s first wife, Kirsten Stoltmann.

1999

Sterling Ruby moves to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he meets fellow student Aaron Curry.

decade

2000s

2000

Aaron Curry attends SAIC and receives his BFA in 2002 alongside friend and classmate Sterling Ruby. Curry fondly remembers teachers Barbara Rossi and Karl Wirsum.

2000

Sterling Ruby and Melanie Schiff become friends while students in Chicago.

2000s 2000

Sterling Ruby first learns how to work with ceramics in Chicago at a “free form” ceramics class.

2000s 2000

Sterling Ruby works at the Video Data Bank, an organization cofounded by SAIC. In Ruby’s words: “I wasn’t exposed to a lot of video art until I started my employment as a secretary at the Video Data Bank. Prior to Chicago, I studied at a four-year foundation program in Pennsylvania where I did figure and still life drawing for eight hours a day. Needless to say, there was no video art in the curriculum. After being promoted from the VDB front desk, I learned how to edit and wound up dubbing endurance-based performance art for eight hours a day. I was holding the [Vito] Acconci, [Lynda] Benglis, and [Bruce] Nauman master tapes and it was a nice opportunity to learn the history of video art in parallel to watching the history of performance art.”

2002

Sterling Ruby earns his BFA from SAIC.

2000s 2003

Sterling Ruby encourages Amanda Ross-Ho to apply to the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

2003

Aaron Curry and Sterling Ruby move to California to get their MFAs at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, where Richard Hawkins and Mike Kelley are teachers. Ruby cites Kelley and the exhibition Helter Skelter as reasons he moved to California.

2004

Amanda Ross-Ho moves to Los Angeles for graduate school and lives with Sterling Ruby.

2004

Sterling Ruby’s first solo exhibition, Interior Burnout, is at 1R Gallery in Chicago.

mid-2000s 2004

Sterling Ruby is Mike Kelley’s teaching assistant for three years.

2005

Sterling Ruby has a solo exhibition at the ArtCenter titled Reconfiguration of Monument to Interiority: Learned Helplessness in Students.

2005

Sterling Ruby curates the group exhibition Autonomy at Foxy Production, which includes Aaron Curry and his future wife, Melanie Schiff.

mid-2000s 2005

After graduate school, Sterling Ruby moves to Los Angeles and leases an old warehouse on Fishburn Avenue near Hazard Park in Boyle Heights to use as studio space for himself and other artist friends, including Aaron Curry and Amanda Ross-Ho.

2007

Installation view, Post Rose: Artists in and out of the Hazard Park Complex, Kunsthaus Lempertz, Berlin, 2007. Courtesy of the artists and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne. Photo: Simon Vogel.
Invitation card, Post Rose: Artists in and out of the Hazard Park Complex, Kunsthaus Lempertz, Berlin, 2007. Courtesy of the artists and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne.

2007

Amanda Ross-Ho travels to Berlin with Sterling Ruby for the opening of Post Rose: Artists In and Out of the Hazard Park Complex at Galerie Christian Nagel.

2007

Sterling Ruby curates the exhibition Post Rose: Artists in and out of the Hazard Park Complex at Galerie Christian Nagel in Berlin, which includes Aaron Curry and Amanda Ross-Ho.

decade

2010s

2010

Sterling Ruby, SP104, 2010. Spray paint on canvas; 125 × 185 in. (317.5 × 469.9 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of the Simkins Family, 2011.7. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of Sterling Ruby Studio.

2012

Aaron Curry and Sterling Ruby are included in the group exhibition Phantom Limb: Approaches to Painting Today at MCA Chicago.

2010s 2012

Melanie Schiff sets up her studio in Sterling Ruby’s studio warehouse complex in East Los Angeles.

2013

Sterling Ruby, Basin Theology/The Poacher 2, 2013. Fired ceramic and glaze; 32 × 36 × 41 in. (81.3 × 91.4 × 104.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of the Simkins Family, 2014.30. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of Sterling Ruby Studio.
Sterling Ruby, Basin Theology/The Poacher 2, 2013. Fired ceramic and glaze; 32 × 36 × 41 in. (81.3 × 91.4 × 104.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of the Simkins Family, 2014.30. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of Sterling Ruby Studio.

2014

Aaron Curry, Laura Owens, and Sterling Ruby are included in the group exhibition Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Painting.

2014

Sterling Ruby retroactively receives his MFA from ArtCenter when Diana Thater takes over as chair of the graduate department.

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