Feminist Fan: Frida Kahlo
Accession Number: PC.61
Artist: Ruth Fash
mixed media, 39 x 32 inches
Adopted by: Christian C. Finch

Ruth Fash ( —2004) began working with this organization’s curator Arne Nybak in 1987. Since that time until Mr. Nybak’s death in 1999, Ruth Fash was his trusted collaborator. Ruth was fond of saying that Arne was a master of presentation; but she herself was capable of a grand gesture that could set a body of work in vivid perspective. During their work together, Ruth felt a show of her own work at the then Art Center would be inappropriate. After Arne died and Ruth moved to her home in Big Sur, the Art Center presented The Work of Ruth Fash: a Search for Life Divine from December 15, 2001 through January 6, 2002. This piece was included in that exhibition.

Ruth Fash used circular shapes in her artwork a great deal. An explicit feminism also permeates the series of fans Ruth Fash created to honor artists such as Alice Neel and Frieda Kahlo. The fan is both an intimate homage to each artist and a vehicle for Ruth Fash’s continuing formal interests in translucent color, tactile surface and light. To give it greater strength, Ms. Fash wove in the cellophane, which she first saw in Japan and later found in theatrical supply houses in Hollywood. She embellished the surface with postage-type stamps made from reproductions of the artists’ work and with other ornaments.

Ruth’s education included Graduate studies at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; MFA from the University of of Illinois; BFA from Oklahoma State University. She was awarded an International Institute of Education Grant in painting to Mexico. Her work has been exhibited in juried and invitational exhibitons at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Sculpture Object & Functional Art, Chicago, Il; Horwich Galleries, Chicago, IL; Gayle Wilson Gallery, New York; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, CA.

Ruth Fash taught in the Art and Design Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Il; National Academy of the Arts, Champaign, Il; and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

This artwork was donated to the Permanent Collection by Victoria R. Fash, her daughter.

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