Ruben Ochoa

March 19 – July 24, 2009
at Peter Blum SoHo

Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition Ruben Ochoa: Collapsed, opening on March 19th at 99 Wooster Street, New York. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, March 19th, from 6 to 8 p.m. This will be Ruben Ochoa’s first solo exhibition in New York.

In Collapsed Ruben Ochoa continues his investigation into urban locations under contention. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is confronted by a fifteen-feet high and eighteen-feet long slab of what appears to be a concrete freeway divider propped against the gallery wall at roughly a 45-degree angle. An enormous amount of reddish dirt covers the slanted wall, spilling over towards the viewer and stretching all the way to the other side of the gallery. The structure physically impedes the viewer and blocks his or her path. The only way to reach the back of the gallery and the rear of the sculpture is to walk through the seemingly precarious triangular tunnel created by the leaning concrete wall.

Collapsed underlines Ochoa’s interest in the physicality of space as defined by its boundaries. It also looks closely at the nature of dislocation and displacement within an urban environment. In particular, Collapsed references the geographical and the socioeconomic implications of Los Angeles’ vast freeway system. These freeway walls are demarcations that conceptually retain much more than the earth behind it as these barriers shape how the city functions in terms of economic, social, and racial divisions. Ochoa’s use of industrial, outdoor, and civil engineering materials emphasize his concern with sculpture as architecture and with architecture as a manifestation of its surrounding environment and culture. Bringing these materials into a gallery context, Ochoa intends to both connect with viewers outside the art world and question traditional exhibition strategies. Collapsed exposes the city’s as well as the sculpture’s underlying infrastructures.

Ochoa has been exploring the issues related to Collapsed (Once Extracted) since his exhibition entitled Extracted at LA><ART, Los Angeles supported by LA><ART, Peter Norton Family Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Jumex Foundation, Eve Steele and Peter Gelles.

Concurrent with this exhibition there will be a sculpture three the hard way on view at Peter Blum Chelsea (526 West 29th Street, from March 21st to May 9th).

Ruben Ochoa was born in 1974 in Oceanside, CA and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. In 2003 he received a MFA from the University of California, Irvine. His work was recently shown in solo exhibitions at Susanne Vielmetter Berlin Projects (2008), at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angels Projects (2007), at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo, NY (2007), LA><ART in Los Angeles (2006), and in a two person exhibition with Mark Bradford at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial (2008); Phantom Sightings (2008) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the California Biennial (2004) at the Orange County Museum of Art. Forthcoming exhibitions include a solo project at Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM in 2009 and a solo exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in 2010. In 2008 he was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and in 2005 the Creative Capital Grant.