One Person Shows

Cerulean Arts Collective, Philadelphia, PA, “outside looking in” 2021

Cerulean Arts Collective, Philadelphia, PA,  “Cultural Surrealism, 2019

Cerulean Arts Collective, Philadelphia, PA, “ANON was a Woman” , 2018

“More Fun Than Fun” at Iona College, NY, 5 person show curated by Carol Taylor-Kearney

        Iona College, New Rochelle, NY, 2018

“Sounds of Spring” at the Lieberman Gallery in the Settlement Music School, 2018

(Affiliation with the Allen’s Lane Art Center)

“NAMES” an installation identifying the 72 Virgins at

ARTworks, Trenton, New Jersey,  from March 1 to April 5, 2014   and

Main Line Unitarian Church, Fireside Room Gallery, Devon, PA, October 10 to November 23, 2014

“Plantscapes” at the Delaware Center for Horticulture, Wilmington DE, 2012

“Shadows transform the StrataSphere”, at The StrataSphere, a Project Space, Phila, PA 2009

featuring “Virgin Canvas and the Unblessed”, an installation addressing rape.      

Allen’s Lane Art Center, Mount Airy, Philadelphia, PA, 2006                

“Visual Allegories”, Allen’s Lane Art Center, Mount Airy, Philadelphia, PA, 2004

“Forest Primeval”, Skippack Gallery of Contemporary Art,  Skippack, PA, 1994

Kirkbride Gallery of the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, 1993

“Music - a synthesis of form - Art”  with the Pennsylvania Orchestra -- Art Show and Concert

      The Haverford School, Centennial Hall, Haverford, PA,  April 4, 1993

“Daydreams & Myths”, The Kling Partnership, Philadelphia 1980

Challenge Exhibition, Fleisher Art Memorial,  Philadelphia 1979

“Drawings”, American Institute of Architects,  Philadelphia  1979

“Islands and Daydreams”, Rosemont College,  Rosemont, PA. 1978

“Islands”, General Electric Corporate Center, Philadelphia  1978   

Provident National Bank, Corporate Center, Philadelphia  1977

Temple University, Student Center Gallery, Philadelphia   1977

Certificate 1973 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, BFA  1974  Philadelphia College of Art

MFA  1976  University of Wisconsin (Teaching Assistant)

1978-1979  Barnes Foundation “The Art in Painting” with Violette de Mazia 

2001-2004  Violette de Mazia Foundation Fellowship at the Barnes Foundation

                              “Advanced Theoretical and Critical Studies in the Fine Arts”

2005-2010 Advanced Seminars with the Violette de Mazia Foundation

2004    Leeway Foundation “WOO” Grant

1979 and 1981   Yaddo Foundation Fellowship


Artist Bio

Ruth Wolf was born in Philadelphia. She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, earning the PAFA Certificate along with a BFA, in the coordinated degree program with the (then) Philadelphia College of Art. In 1976, she received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin, which she attended as a Teaching Assistant, teaching Basic Art Experiences.

When Ruth returned to Philadelphia, she studied the aesthetic theory of Dr Albert Barnes at the Barnes Foundation with Violette deMazia. Then many years later, in 2002, she continued these studies with a grant from the Violette deMazia Foundation until 2009.

Ruth’s paintings deal with social and environmental issues. Recently, she has been formatting these paintings into large scale installations.

She has won awards from the Leeway Foundation,  Artforms Gallery (Painting), the Fleisher Challenge (now the Fleisher-Wind Challenge), and artist residencies at Yaddo. Some of her solo exhibitions include the Kirkbride Gallery of Pennsylvania Hospital, Allens Lane Art Center, the StradaSphere, Artworks Trenton, and the Main Line Unitarian Church Fireside Gallery. Group exhibitions include the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Mitchner Art Museum, and the Alumni Gallery of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

In 1993 Ruth’s artwork was shown in a one-person show during a concert featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra. Called MUSIC- a synthesis of form- ART, which took place in Centennial Hall at the Haverford School.

Ruth is a painter whose large-scale canvases are included in numerous private collections.

She is currently a member of the Cerulean Arts Collective and Powell Lane Arts.


Statements not so recent but they still apply

As paint is applied, thought is suspended, surrendered 

to spontaneous intuition, without qualification.

Visual images that engage the eye merits recording,

yielding to a stream of consciousness description.

Acting on trust rather than judgment, sensing rather than thinking, painting,

in the moment built on the moment; focusing on what is rather than what will be.


A spark of an image captures itself in my mind’s eye.

With pencil or charcoal or chalk I find shapes in space, and then commit to one dominant color. From this shape the narrative unfolds through the juxtaposition of color next to color, shape next to light, line capturing and releasing mass until the physical image superimposes on to the mind’s eye image. The hand guides the brush at the same moment the mind begins to form it.

The action of painting large is very physical and dynamic,  decisions are made quickly.

I work on the large stretched canvas with acrylic paint, powered pigments, crushed pastel, colored pencil and crayon, rust, dirt and ashes.

My intention is to present a narrative through engagement with color and materials, not story telling. However through years of painting I found dealing solely with colored composition was empty, lonely and dry. Including  figures made the commitment to the colored shapes much more enjoyable, interesting and honest. There was no longer any excuse for ambiguity - it had to be right because it had to make sense in relation to the world we experience, could experience.


A Catalyst for Experience

It is the mark of the artist that is the record of the artist’s aesthetic experience.

Experience of a subject precedes the intention to make that mark, which precedes all determination of form. Intention determines the transformation of subject into process.

Intention determines decisions on materials and techniques. What it is precedes how to make it, just as cognitive awareness precedes action. After ALL this thought, making the object, the  tangible thing, seems anti-climatic except for the sensation, the physical sensation,  the action, the aesthetic of doing.

It is the action that makes the object, not the thought.

Once past intention, action, the experience of doing -- the how, takes precedence. This physical nature in the act of mark making and the seduction in the tactile qualities of the materials becomes the most significant part of the process. From it the dialogue between the artist and the object, from spontaneous outpourings to obsessive self-censorship, merges.

It is the viewers response to this object that continues the process -- as a new aesthetic experience. For the viewer, their perception and the integrates of this experience with the object, becomes more important than the object itself.

We leave the object, but the experience forever remains.

Barnet Newman said he painted to have something to look at.