Los Angeles artist Ruth Weisberg works primarily in painting, drawing, printmaking, mixed-media, and large-scale installations. Her paintings deal with feminist issues and the cycle of life.
Weisberg was born in Chicago. In 1959, she enrolled in the University of Michigan, and in 1960 she spent a year in Italy studying at the Academia di Belle Arte di Perugia. She received both her B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. In 1969, she moved to Santa Monica and joined the faculty of the University of Southern California in 1970, where she became a Professor of Fine Arts and Dean of the U.S.C. Rossi School of Art and Design. In 1999, she received the College Art Association Distinguished Teaching of Art Award.
For Weisberg drawing is the underpinning of all her art: painting, lithography, monotypes, and mixed-media painting. Her art reflects upon the cycle of life, the continuity of generations, preservation, and survival. Since 1974 she has made installations where viewers could enter into architecturally defined spaces. In 1979, she had her first major survey in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Weisberg – along with artist Judy Chicago – were given the first solo shows at the iconic The Women’s Building.
Weisberg was the first living painter given a solo exhibition at the Norton Simon in 2008-2009. In this exhibit she took inspiration from one of the museum’s artworks, Guido Cagnacci’s baroque painting “Martha Rebuking Mary for Her Vanity.” She took figures from this artwork and repeated them in various iterations, frequently isolating individual characters, such as Mary Magdalene, or replacing them with images of her friends and family.
In 2014 at the South Bay Contemporary SoLA Gallery Weisberg participated in “Transforming Feminisms” where discussions of women’s issues led to the creation of art. With more than 200 group exhibitions internationally, including the Whitney Museum of Art and the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, she has had more than 70 solo exhibitions in museums such as the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena.
Her work is included in the permanent collections of more than 60 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum, LACMA, Getty Institute, the Norton Simon Museum, and Biblioteque Nationale in Paris.