Ruth Sack




Art runs in my lineage. My mother’s mother was a fashion designer in Poland. She never worked from patterns. Like her, I never followed construction rules. As a young child I would use whatever materials were around, drawing on rocks not on paper, in middle school fabricating colorful dimensional forms made from cast Barbie heads and plastic turn tables. My favorite things were never flat, so it made sense to become a sculpture major in graduate school using wire caging and ripped nylon among other materials, combining the conventional with unconventional.

My early work was based on physical trauma, being a breast cancer survivor. Feeling hollowed out led to the development of visceral forms that when coiled from the inside, allowed beautiful structures to emerge, creating their own space and negating their own conventions. They reference letterforms such as cuneiform, hieroglyphics, and calligraphies. They are zigs and zags like x and Y-chromosomes, living organisms that together grow into a community of clustered shapes. Their proportions are body-like which occurs in lettering as a rule of thirds, like the letter E. They describe different sensibilities and are a new context for our political arena of language.

I am drawn to painting with encaustic for its versatility. It has magical abilities; being translucent, activated by heat, it can be cast, and can adhere to any surface while being able to embed things into it. It’s a very process-driven medium, like cooking but better. Color is a driving force behind my work. Bright colors require different kinds of evocative thought. Fluorescents pop and illuminate light, enlivening the forms. I am pushing the limits of the materials I use to give an identity to my constructions.


I have always been an artist. I always made things, either of my own imagination or from inspiration of the work of others. I delight in “process”, which attracted me to sculpture, encaustic painting and assemblage. At first I regarded art as a thing to make. Now, after living through a few of life’s challenges, I see art as a physical manifestation of my outlook and experiences.

I received a BA from Brandeis University in art in 1975. I then spent a year learning how to draw and think like an artist at the New York Studio School. In 1979 I received my MFA in sculpture from City University of New York, Queens College. I learned graphic design at the California College of Arts and Crafts and continued to create art while running my own graphic design studio for nearly 30 years. My understanding of graphic design has become an important part of my artistic process.

I live in Cheshire Connecticut with my husband David. I enjoy the artistic environment of New Haven and regularly teach and exhibit my work there. My 2014 acceptance to New England Wax, a professional organization of artists who work in encaustic has provided great opportunities to exhibit my work and share ideas. I am also a member of New Haven Paint and Clay Club. 2020 will mark my first year as part of City Gallery in New Haven.