Skip to content

Ruby Neri (b. 1970, San Francisco) draws upon twentieth-century West Coast traditions as well as a global catalogue of art historical and anthropological modes. She depicts the human body as a porous instrument of pleasure, terror, and everything in between; this places her within a lineage of recent Los Angeles-based artists that includes Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy, while her penchant for hand-driven craft connects her to the Bay Area Figurative and Funk movements. Over the last twenty years, Neri has also been one of the leading figures in the return to ceramics as a contemporary artmaking medium. The vessels that have dominated her production during this period evoke both earthy tactility and psychological intimacy. Her use of sprayed glazes, meanwhile, links her ceramics to the street art she produced in the late 1990s as a member of what would become the San Francisco-based Mission School, connecting a contemporary urban art form with the archaic power of pre-historical wall-painting and object-making.

In 2018, Ruby Neri was the subject of a two-person exhibition, Alicia McCarthy and Ruby Neri / MATRIX 270, at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), California. Recent group shows include Funk You Too!, Museum of Arts and Design (2023), New York; The Flames: The Age of Ceramics, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (2021–2022); New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century, BAMPFA, California (2021); The Domestic Plane: New Perspectives on Tabletop Art Objects, Objects Like Us, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2018); From Funk to Punk, Left Coast Ceramics, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York (2017); Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California, Oakland Museum of California and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2014); Energy That is All Around: Mission School, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York (2014); Busted, High Line, New York (2013); and Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012). Her work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Brooklyn Museum, New York; de Young museum, San Francisco; and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Neri lives and works in Los Angeles.