With surgical blades and a meticulous hand, Kim Rugg (b. 1963, Canada) dissects and reassembles newspapers, stamps, comic books, cereal boxes and postage stamps in order to render them conventionally illegible. The front page of the LA Times becomes neatly alphabetized jargon, debunking the illusion of its producers' authority as much as the message itself. Through her re-appropriation of medium and meaning, she effectively highlights the innately slanted nature of the distribution of information as well as its messengers. Rugg has also created hand-drawn works alongside wallpaper installations, both of which toy with authenticity and falsehood through subtle trompe l'oeil. In her maps, Rugg re-envisions the topography of various states, countries, continents, and even the world without borders, featuring a staggeringly precise hand-drawn layout with only city names and regions as reference points. In own sense of abstracted cartography, Rugg redistributes traditional map colors (or eliminates them entirely) in order to nullify the social preeminence given to constructed territories, and highlight the idea that our attention is manipulated to focus on the powerful few instead of the physical many.
Rugg received her MFA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art (London). Her work can be seen in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art (D.C.) and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation (CA), the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (CA), Honolulu Museum of Art, the Norton Museum (FL), and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (TX) among others. She has been included in exhibitions at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (CA), Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (NY), Galerie Schmidt Maczollek (Cologne), and Nettie Horn Gallery (Manchester), P.P.O.W. Gallery (NYC), and was the recipient of the Thames and Hudson Prize from the Royal College of Art Society in 2004. She lives and works in London (UK).
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