Circumference includes five new kinetic works that extend Ratcliff’s 2016 solo exhibition, Full Circle. For the third year in a row, Ratcliff has continued to explore multi-part image-bearing circular kinetic sculptures that are suspended from the ceiling and continuously change as they turn and interact with each other. The largest, “Untitled (Jellyfish),” 2018 (56 x 66 x 62 in.) combines various materials – tyvek, polyester, acrylic, ink, linen and steel – in an overlap of transparent images layered in space.
The exhibition includes earlier wall-mounted two-dimensional circular works, also derived from Ratcliff’s photography. These works combine the techniques of painting, drawing, and transfer to complete the compositions and demonstrate Ratcliff’s longstanding fascination with circular forms.
MARY CURTIS RATCLIFF majored in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1960s, and then moved to New York, where she was a founding member of the radical collective Videofreex. After her move to California in 1973, Ratcliff’s wind sculptures and ceremonial pieces were used in the early eco-feminist movement; later works continued to unite fabric and craft with a sculptural sense of design. Since 1999, Ratcliff has concentrated primarily on 2-dimensional work, integrating photography, drawing, painting, and image transfer techniques in multi-layered, intricate explorations of nature, pattern and perception. In the last three years, Ratcliff has returned to circular, kinetic sculptures that now incorporate her photography.
Ratcliff’s artwork has been shown in well over one hundred exhibitions around the world. It is represented locally in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She has participated in residencies in the United States, France, Japan, and New Zealand. She lives and works in Berkeley, CA and is a member of both Oakland’s Mercury 20 Gallery and the SFMOMA Artists Gallery.