Chris Rucker's work is shown in exhibition "If I told you one time..." at D.C.'s Industry Gallery through 3 July
There's a simple beauty in his oriented strand board.
For Rucker’s design ethos look at simple, humble material. His principal medium, oriented strand board or OSB, an engineered wood product made from fast-growing trees, is usually used for flooring and other construction purposes. OSB is a composite sheet material like plywood, but with less structural integrity. His design aesthetic weds the asceticism of Donald Judd with the rule-based principles of Sol LeWitt, to yield what Rucker calls “a rectilinear vocabulary.”
His building process utilizes plywood construction, which involves dados, miter joints and working with a table saw. He operates within the confines of a relatively simple equation: apply basic plywood box construction principles to strand board to create minimal, functional furniture with structural integrity. “It was in working through the limitations inherent in the material that the process morphed into something other than typical box construction,” said Rucker, adding, “I eventually evolved the process into something specific to OSB.” Referring to LeWitt, Rucker notes: “I like repeating something within an equation, tweaking the variables and pushing a piece to the point where it abstracts from its original form and becomes something new.” Rucker does not design with a computer, but sketches constantly, from twenty minutes to hours daily — as he notes: “the sketch book at work is open all the time, and it’s something to which I refer constantly.”
Says Gallery owner Craig Appelbaum, “Chris’ design sensibilities and vocabulary really stand out in the contemporary design world as distinct, fresh and seductive. His work is beautiful and impeccably crafted, with an intriguing hint of psychological tension.”
1358 Florida Avenue, NE, 2nd Floor
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