“My photographs explore water as it exists in nature, moving, and carving spaces and blurring spatial perception. Water is something that holds and supports like a solid but moves at the same time. In stillness, water’s surface can reveal so much of below and above.
I photograph this exploration in swamps, creeks, beaches, and swimming pools. In deconstructing expected landscape configurations, I find abstraction blooms between light, reflection, and receding surfaces. In water spaces, my formal interests combine with mystery, nuance, and spirituality. The viewer is engaged through questioning what they are looking at, and how to decode the scene. Each picture invites narrative interpretation and unfolds slowly.” — RW
Ruth Wetzel was born in Atlanta, GA and grew up in Katonah, NY. She has a M.F.A. from Maryland Institute, College of Art, and a B.S. in Design from Buffalo State College.
She has spent over 25 years interpreting the landscape through drawing, painting and most recently photography and has received fellowships from Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Women’s Studio Workshop and New York State Council on the Arts.
Wetzel has exhibited in many galleries and public institutions, most recently at Cross Contemporary Gallery, Saugerties, NY and Davis-Orton Gallery, Hudson, NY, Ashawagh Hall and folioeast, East Hampton, NY and the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, New York, NY. Her work has been collected nationally and internationally. Ruth divides her time between the Hudson Valley, Manhattan, and East Hampton.
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work
RUTH WETZEL speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
RW/ I travel around to various water bodies and note the light, tides, contours of the land, and repeatedly visit to capture an image. Depending on the location and season, I follow patterns of pollen drop, duckweed, cottonwood, ice, seagrass, froth, and how tides carve the bottom surface of sand. Wind, reflections from above, and the movement of the water all affect how the surface will of the water appears.
CM/ WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE EAST END?
RW/ My mother bought a house in the Springs in 2000. Since then both my sisters have moved here. The East End has so many watery nooks and beautiful light—the open possibilities of land, water, and sky are endless.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE SPOTS OUT HERE?
RW/ The many coves of Gardiner's Bay, Shadmoor State Park, Napeague Beach, Ashawagh Hall, and the East Hampton library.
CM/ DO YOU FEEL A CONNECTION TO THE EAST END’S ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST HISTORY?
RW/ I draw inspiration from Pollock's house every time I drive by it. I also cherish the thought of him trading paintings for credit at The General Store in Springs.
CM/ IF YOU COULD CHOOSE A WORK OF ART, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
RW/ I would like a Willem de Kooning.