Born from her experiences of motherhood and displacement, Maja Ruznic’s work peels back the layers of her own psyche. The artist begins each studio session by improvising with gouache on a small scale. Using what she describes as “muscle memory,” she builds on these works on paper to create her oversized canvases, whose orientation constantly changes as she scumbles oil paint onto the surface. By rotating her canvases, Ruznic twists her forms into spirals which radiate out from the paintings’ centers to confound any linear narrative. Colors resonate optically, but also reference her studies of mysticism and ritual—black, white, yellow, and red allude to the four humors of premodern medicine as well as the steps of alchemy’s magnum opus, the chemical process of transforming base material into gold. In recent years, Ruznic has increased the number of layers of thinned-out paint to anywhere from three-to-fifteen passes of oil, causing her once diaphanous contours to solidify into denser, embodied forms. And yet, her figures and shapes still freely intermingle in a process of continuous becoming and dissolving.
Ruznic lives and works in Placitas, New Mexico. Recent solo exhibitions include those held at Aspen Art Museum; Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque; Karma, New York; Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato; and Harwood Museum of Art, Taos. Ruznic’s work is held in the collections of the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Dallas Art Museum; EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo; Jiménez–Colón Collection, Puerto Rico; Portland Art Museum; The Rachofsky Collection, Dallas; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
[excerpted from Karma website: www.karmakarma.org]