During the Great Depression, the Farm Security Administration sent out photographers like Walker Evans to document rural America, producing about 164,000 photographs in all. Lisa Ruyter appropriates these photographs in her acrylic paintings, looking for how the images of hardship and everyday American life resonate today.
The source for this painting is one of Russell Lee’s photographs of Pie Town, New Mexico, a town supposedly founded in the 1920s by a guy named Norman who liked baking pies. The source image may be old and little-known, but Ruyter’s use of the archive as a repository of images to recycle and reinterpret is distinctly contemporary.
WHERE TO BUY
This work by Lisa Ruyter will be available from Connersmith at Art Miami, which runs from December 5 through 9. Connersmith will also have work by Leo Villareal, Lincoln Schatz, Kenny Hunter, and Julie Roberts ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.
Lisa Ruyter, Russell Lee “Three members of ladies’ quintette at community sing. Pie Town, New Mexico”, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 63 × 79 inches. Copyright Lisa Ruyter, courtesy of CONNERSMITH.