Inner City Variation I
silkscreen print (60 copies)
58 x 73 cm
signed, titled and numbered
Leavitt, born in 1944 in St. Paul, Minnesota, used programs to investigate the limits of form by stretching parameters into many-faceted and varied constructions. Distortion of forms became one of the hallmarks of her style. Leavitt is among the early group of artists who found in the computer a means to enlarge their visual language all the while expanding beyond the printed plotter drawing. Leavitt, throughout her career, remained dedicated to painting and sculpture, positioning her among the few artists in the 1970s to use the computer to elaborate a new style of painting, based on the principles of the Bauhaus via Op-Art and Hard-Edge, but also integrating mathematical formulae as a road to new forms.
A trio of Leavitt’s works on canvas show this direction in her work, as does a unique bronze relief that allowed the artist to elaborate in three dimensions the computer animations she created.
Ruth Leavitt earned a painting degree from the University of Minnesota in 1969 and was a master-class student under Hans Hofmann. With her husband Jay, a teacher at the Computer Science Department, she started to use the computer in her work. She developed a stretching program to allow her to deform lines along mathematical principles. She and Jay wrote an article in 1976 in Leonardo, the art-science journal that was one of the most important forums for early computer artists, entitled “Pictures Based on Computer Drawings Made by Deforming and Initial Design.” In the late 1970s, she produced film animations using a variation of the program. Leavitt was the editor of Artist and Computer (Harmony Press, 1976), one of the earliest compilations on computer art.
Selected one – person exhibitions
1969 “Drawings,” Coffman Gallery. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1972 “Computer Graphics,” Martin Gallery. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1974 “Prints,” Art Gallery. College of St. Catherine. St. Paul, Minnesota.
1975 “Computer Prints,” Southern Missionary College Art Gallery. Collegedale, Tennessee.
1977 “Diamond Transformations,” Cecil Davis Gallery. Marion, Massachusetts. “Recent Work,” Clarke College Art Center. Dubuque, Iowa.
1984 “Transformations of Space and Design,” Burchfield Art Center. Buffalo, New York
1987 “Computer-Aided Constructions,” Shippensburg University Art Gallery. Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
“Computer-Aided Sculpture,” Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, Wilcox Mansion. Buffalo, New York.
Selected group exhibitions
1973 “Circuit,” Bloomfield Art Association. Birmingham, Michigan.
“National Computer Art Show,” New York Coliseum. New York, New York.
“Ordinateur et Creation Artistique,” L’Espace Cardin. Paris, France.
“Cybernetic Artrip,” Tokyo, Japan.
1974 “International Exhibition of Computer Art,” Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art. Montreal, Canada.
“Computer Art,” Bohun Gallery. Oxon, England.
“Computer Art International,” Tokyo, Japan.
“Color,” Minnesota Museum of Art. St. Paul, Minnesota.
“Women In Focus,” Minneapolis College of Art and Design Gallery. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Minnesota 1974,” Rochester Art Center. Rochester, Minnesota.
“ICCH/ 1, ” University of Minnesota West Bank Gallery. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1975 “Clay and Paper Regional,” Octagon Art Center. Ames, Iowa.
“Printout,” Watson Gallery. Wheaton College. Norton, Massachusetts.
“Ninth National Biennal,” Second Crossing Gallery. The North Dakota. State Arts and Humanities Council. Valley City, North Dakota
“Women Art,” Normandale Community College Gallery. Bloomington, Minnesota.
“Group Show,” Friends Gallery. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“ICCH/2,” University of Southern California Gallery. Los Angeles, California.
“Art and the Skill of People Using Computers,” Art Center of New Jersey. Tenafly, New Jersey.
“Gallery Artists,” Kingpitcher Gallery of Contemporary Arts. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
1976 “Third International Computer Arts Festival,” C.U.N.Y. Gallery. New York.
“Computer Art,” Tokyo, Japan.
“Prints,” C.R. Gallery. Williston, North Dakota.
“Gallery Artists,” Main Street Gallery. Nantucket, Massachusetts.
1977 “Computer Genesis : A Vision of the 1970s,” Lowe Art Gallery. Syracuse University. Syracuse, New York.
“International Computer Arts Festival,” Kyushu, Japan
1978 “Art and the Computer,” Worcester Art Museum. Worcester, Massachusetts.
1979 “Artist : Computer,” West Lake Gallery. White Plains, New York. University of Waterloo Gallery. Waterloo. Ontario, Canada.
1980 “International Exhibition of Computer Art,” Ukrainian Museum of Modern Art. Chicago, Illinois.
1981 “Waves in Space I New Art and Technology,” Downey Museum of Art. Downey, California.
“Computer Culture Show ‘8 1,” Gallery 76. Ontario College of Arts. Toronto, Canada.
“International Exhibition of Computer Art,” The Palais des Beaux Arts. Brussels, Belgium.
“Art and Technology,” Salina Arts Center. Salina, Kansas.
1982 “Computer Art,” Hanson Gallery of Art. SOHO. New York, New York.
“Computer Art,” Lehigh University Art Galleries. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
1983 “Women and Computer Graphics – An Art For the Future,” Organized by: The Roanoke College Art Gallery. Salem, Virginia.
Traveled to: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boston, Massachusetts.
The University of Northern Illinois. De Kalb, Illinois.
1984 “Contemporary Art Acquisitions: 1980- 1983,” The Equitable Gallery. New York, New York.
1985 “High Tech Art,” U.C.C.S. Gallery of Contemporary Art. Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“Kunstiliche Kunst,” Siemens Museum. Munich, West Germany.
“Artists and the Computer,” Case Art Center. Skidmore College. Saratoga Springs, New York.
1987 “The Second Emerging Expressions Biennial,” The Bronx Museum of the Arts. Bronx, New York.
“Digital Visions : Computer Art,” Organized by: The Everson Museum. Syracuse, New York
Traveled to: The Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. Cincinnati, Ohio.
l.B.M. Gallery. New York, New York.
1988 “C.R.A.S.H.,” Wright Museum of Art. Beloit, Wisconsin.
“W.Y.S.I. W.Y.G . : What You See is What You Get,”
Organized by: The Blair Art Museum. Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania.
Traveled to: The Johnstown Art Museum. Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
1989 “Faculty Art Show,” UMBC Gallery. Baltimore, Maryland.
1991 “Digitized and Manipulated : A National Exhibition of Computer Images,” Hoag Gallery. Sangre De Cristo Arts Center. Pueblo, Colorado.
1992 “Faculty Art Show,” UMBC Gallery. Baltimore, Maryland.
1993 “Legacy & Promise,” A Baltimore Arts Exhibition.
Organized by: The Heritage Museum of Art. Baltimore, Maryland.
Exhibit site: The Maryland Institute C o l l e g e of Art. Baltimore, Maryland.
1998 “Art and Technology 3,” Huber Art Center. Shippensburg University.
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. (Five invited computer artists)
The Albright Knox Gallery. Buffalo, New York; The Arts Council. Utrecht, Holland; The Siemens Museum. Munich, West Germany; The Burchfield Art Center. Buffalo, New York; The Minneapolis Institute of Art. Minneapolis, Minnesota; Editions Maffioti. Paris, France; The United States Federal Reserve Bank. Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Equitable Collection. Fresno, California; The Prudential Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 3M Corporation. Saint Paul, Minnesota; Hiross Corporation. Buffalo, New York; National Computer Corporation. Minneapolis, Minnesota; Knudson Corporation. Saint Paul, Minnesota; The American Automobile Association. Buffalo, New York; Rich Products Corporation. Buffalo, New York; Creative Computing Magazine. Morristown, New Jersey; Museum Galleries of the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Computing Center of the State University of New York at Buffalo. Amherst, New York; Michigan Technological University. Houghton, Michigan; Computer Pathways Unlimited. Salem, Oregon; Hennepin County Library. Bloomfield, Minnesota; and private collections in: Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, New Zealand and the United States