International Sculpture Center
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sculpture cover



      Back to Directory Search

Marci Rubin

Chicago, IL 60605, U.S.A.
View Map

Phone: 3125660027     Fax: 3125660027

More Information

Click image to enlarge.


“When the Body Speaks"


Inside of sculpture, printmaking, and drawing I investigate a state of transformation, metaphorically and literally through process and materials. By working within a set parameter of alteration, reformation, abstraction and transformation, I am able to question recognizable and subconscious states of being. These questions presented in my work deal with our expectations relative to form and deformity involving the human body, and engage with familiar features of form such as proportion, scale, interior, exterior, texture and color. Because the human form can be both beautiful and grotesque at the same time, using the body as a source for my work directs me to interrogate issues specifically regarding relationships we have with the body. More specifically through sculpture, printmaking, and drawing I am investigating my relationship with the structures and systems of the body such as skin, cells, organs, digestion, reproduction, etc…

The primary material focus of my sculpture is that which are inherently associated to the body and moreover possess a visceral, tactile, and sensual quality. Currently I utilize reclaimed clothing as a material source since it directly implies the essence of figure. Essentially articles of clothing mimic the forms and characteristics of the body. By employing a material such as articles of clothing, I am able to question a different understanding of the expectation of the existing objects and materials. The final works become abstractions of representational figurative sculpture. Through this mode of process and transformation the sculptures are located in a place fluctuating between identified and non-identifiable objects.


Recently my work involving the body has become political. The questions leading me to create these pieces are constituted from my interrogation of concepts such as; what is our body’s direct and indirect relationship to our environment, and how does the media and government have control of/over our bodies? Examples of these pieces include Habeas Corpus which gives a voice to the civil rights of the body, and Labiaplasty, which exposes the media’s ideals of the body. Suppuration is a discourse regarding the 2010 BP Oil Spill. This work directly connects the body with the oil spill tragedy through a society wearing clothing made from synthetic fibers, which are derived from petroleum polymers. Made from biodegradable cornstarch packing peanuts, Colony Collapse, is a shrine dedicated to the bees who were dying from a viral/fungal disease. This environmental link to the body is about our awareness of how of natural resources are consumed.

My process of direct printmaking on paper with fruit and ink led me to discover a basic, raw, and primary nature of creating work. Working with fruit as a material evoked questions regarding origin of cycles and phases. Utilizing fruit such as limes, grapefruits, tomatoes, apples, bananas, berries or peaches as a material source captures the essence of the fruited body and transforms them into narratives of cellular cycles, phases, or generation. These works are a direct documentation of the lime, grapefruit, tomato, apple, banana, and peach as symbols of the cell.  

Nonetheless, transforming familiar objects into sculpture, printmaking and drawing creates an unfamiliar form by locating a new figure in a state of uncertainty. For example, my series of blind contour drawings, Units Of Two Corresponding Parts,  based upon pairs of shoes or gloves, produces abstractions with relation to the body’s appendages, specifically our hands and feet. These drawings expose the essence of hands and feet by capturing their gestures. Joining familiar articles of clothing together entitles the newly formed body to exist in a place only art is privileged to. These joints create new and unexpected material relationships. The moment of connection between familiar forms is climacteric to the transformation of the original intention of the materials.



  • University Of Chicago, Chicago, IL MFA 2002

  • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY BFA with honors, 1997

  • Internship with sculptor Ann Messner, Brooklyn, NY 1997

  • Summer studio Program, Pratt In Lucca, Italy, June-July 1996

  • Oakton Community College, 1994

  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN 1993-1994


  • Bridgeport Art Center 1st Annual Art Competition, awarded best 3D work in show, Chicago, IL January 2013

  • Burn NFP Chicago Art Grant 2011

  • CAAP Grant, Chicago, IL 2010

  • CAAP Grant, Chicago, IL 2006

  • University Of Chicago Gift Scholarship 2000-2002

  • “Around the Coyote Arts Festival”, Chicago, IL September 2000, recognized for curator's choice

  • “Around the Coyote Arts Festival”, Chicago, IL September 1998, recognized for curator's choice

  • Pratt Juried Senior Show, Schafler Gallery, Brooklyn, NY May 1997 awarded top prize

  • Pratt Tuition Merit Scholarship, 1996-1997

Selected Exhibitions


●   “ Microcosm” Framing Mode Gallery, Chicago Il Oct-Nov 2016, solo works on paper exhibition

   ●   “ Microcosm” Pen, Ink & Song, Chicago Il May 2016, solo works on paper exhibition

   ●   “Indelicate” Locallective, Chicago IL Oct-Nov 2015, panelist for Indelicate art talk

   ● “Stripped” Framing Mode & Gallery, Chicago IL  October 2014

   ●    Center Camp Cafe at the Burning Man Festival, Black Rock City NV, August 2014

   ●    “Zenstation: Desert Dreams” Framing Mode & Gallery, Chicago IL May-June


  • “Reclaimed Realities” John Almquist Gallery, North Shore Country Day School, Winnetka, Il March-May 2014


  • “Humble Metaphors” Bridgeport Art Center’s Invitational 3 Artist Exhibition, Chicago IL, July-August 2013

  • Bridgeport Art Center’s 1st Annual Art Competition,  Chicago, IL January

                   2013, awarded best 3D work in show

  • “My Secret Garden” Framing Mode & Gallery, Chicago, IL October 2012

  • “When The Body Speaks” Solo exhibition, Dittmar Memorial Gallery at

Northwestern University, Evanston IL January 2012

  • “Creative Cornerstones” Bridgeport Art Center Chicago IL,

October 2011

  • “6 to the 3rd” Framing Mode & Gallery, Chicago, IL October 2011

  • “When The Body Speaks” Solo exhibition, South Suburban College,

                   August 2011

  • “Please Touch the Artwork”  Pop Up Gallery, Chicago, IL  July 2011

  • Chicago Sculpture International at Art Chicago May 2011

  • “Reclaim Art: Benefit For Harold Brown Health Center” Bridgeport Art

                     Center Chicago IL May 2011


  • "Art Loop Open" Chicago, IL October 2010

  • "We Burn: Chicago Burning Man Art" Morning Glory Gallery Chicago,  IL October 2010

  • "Stories Of Old" Framing Mode & Gallery, Chicago, IL October 2010

  • "S.O.S." Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, IL September 2010

  • "Installation Nation" Primary Colours, Indianapolis, IN June 2010