Knitting—which the artist has practiced since childhood—moonlights as fiber paintings in Rusty Scruby’s new body of work. This one picks up where his knitted series stretched over wooden armatures left off. To both, he brings a mind trained in engineering and music composition, allowing new lexicons to emerge. He achieves tonal range by commissioning a local dyer or employs yarn gathered from across the state; all bow to memory, as familiar photographs dwell behind the patterns. Pixelation knots the past into new constellations, and the slippages between imagination and reality are like dropped stitches retrieved again. Scruby is interested in seeing how far he can delve into abstraction—information loss—while retaining figurative sense, leaving room for nostalgia. His patterned, hexagonal compositions—which employ the organic building blocks that echo honeycomb or wasps’ nests—deceive: heterogeneity of color and homogeneity of pattern creates a tension (also a code). As intimate as they are objective, his fiber paintings exist between the supple loop of memory and the hard needle of fact.
Rusty Scruby has exhibited both nationally and abroad including exhibitions in Miami, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Chicago and Seoul, South Korea. Scruby received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 2010. His work is held in private and public collections, including the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Stephen Pyles Restaurant, Microsoft Corporation, Capital One, Lamar University, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.