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Mary Curtis Ratcliff: SCRAPWORKS

July, 2020

Ratcliff Scrapworksiii Portal 2020 Sm
Mary Curtis Ratcliff: "ScrapWorks IV: Approach" (2020), digital inkjet print collage and acrylic on Tyvek, 36" x 24". Photo by Dana Davis



JULY 13 – 25, 2020

– Exhibition viewable 24 hours/day in Mercury 20 Gallery front window
– 475 25th Street, Oakland, between Telegraph & Broadway (510) 701-4620

Mercury 20 Gallery is pleased to announce the third exhibition in a series of two-week installations made specifically for the gallery’s front window: ScrapWorks, by Mary Curtis Ratcliff. Because of viewing limitations due to the current Shelter-In-Place mandate, the exhibitions in the series are designed to be safely viewed from outside the gallery, on the sidewalk or in one’s car.

Due to the shutdown of small businesses during the COVID-pandemic, Ratcliff was unable to work with her frequent collaborator, who produces large scale digital prints that she adapts for her kinetic sculptures. Ratcliff has turned instead to her own studio resources and found stacks of scraps with traces of digital printing on them–circles, corners and straight trimmings left over from earlier works, some of them saved for years. The results are an entirely new series: twelve new pieces made in the last three months that she calls ScrapWorks. Two of them are presented in the window installation at Mercury 20 Gallery, alongside a kinetic triptych.

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 past five 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, California and is a member of both Oakland’s Mercury 20 Gallery and the SFMOMA Artists Gallery.

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Mercury 20 Gallery

475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612
Tel: 510-701-4620

Gallery hours: Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt