A pattern with lines and eyes.

Ruth Root, Untitled (detail), 2019. Courtesy the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

Ruth Root

Forum Gallery

Forum 81

The 81st installment of CMOA’s Forum series debuts a new body of work by acclaimed New York–based painter Ruth Root.

With a jolt of pattern and shape, Root’s eccentric paintings dazzle and perplex with their play of geometry, color, and found images. These new works are composed of two parts involving a shaped panel painted with acrylic and spray paint suspended from a flexible sewn form covered with the artist’s own fabric designs. Incorporating found imagery from news media, art history, online search engines, and objects from CMOA’s own collection, Root creates eye-popping patterns. Physically and visually unruly, these large-scale works push the boundaries of the medium and embrace the complexities of the visible world.

In addition to the exhibition, Root designed an interactive scavenger hunt based on her visits through the museum’s collection called “Looking and Drawing with Ruth Root.” Follow the artist’s playful prompts and discover the collection through her eyes. These free guides can be found outside of the Forum Gallery and in Scaife Gallery 16.

CMOA’s Forum series is a dynamic program of exhibitions by some of today’s most innovative contemporary artists hosted in a dedicated gallery located just off the museum’s main lobby. For over 25 years, the series has presented more than 80 exhibitions since its inception, many of which have been museum debuts for artists who have gone on to achieve international renown.

Ruth Root is organized by Eric Crosby, Henry J. Heinz II Acting Co-Director and Richard Armstrong Senior Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, with Hannah Turpin, Curatorial Assistant for Modern & Contemporary Art and Photography.


Major funding for the Forum series is generously provided by the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation. Additional support for this exhibition is provided by The Martin G. McGuinn Art Exhibition Fund and the Ruth Levine Memorial Fund.