The Invisible Institute

Valentin Ruhry
10 Sessions » Wednesdays, June 4–August 6
6:30–9:30 pm | McMillan Conference Room | $400

Prerequisite: A basic understanding of contemporary art practice

An artist without a full-time studio or workshop has to change their perspective and create in completely different, often more conceptual, ways. This class will prompt students to question how their art practice may function outside of the traditional studio or white cube, by encouraging the use of alternative materials and art processes. The Invisible Institute aims to investigate the interrelations between art and the circumstances under which art originated. In the theoretical part, we will look at examples in art history from Modernism to the most recent contemporary trends and study their artistic possibilities from ready-mades to digital art in a variety of different media and expressions. The goal is to understand these relations and apply them to your own practice but also to trigger ideas for nontraditional works or use of materials. Eventually we will prepare a presentation of selected art pieces that develop during the class. This presentation can be unconventional in place, media, or structure, challenging the traditional forms of exhibitions. 

Possible Class Projects:

  • Take 10 matchbox sticks and place them on a sheet of paper. Manually position them without creating a pattern or letting them look organized. Take a photo of the paper and compare and discuss it with your colleagues’ pictures.

View additional Art-Making Adventures

Valentin Ruhry, born in Graz, Austria, is a sculptor in the traditional sense, working with untraditional materials. He is a former student of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and has exhibited internationally, including in Moscow, London, New York, Berlin, and Vienna. Light has become an important basic material for most of his works, where it can be seen as a volume in space and as something “substantially invisible.” In the same way, Ruhry is interested in the various possibilities of sculptures or installations that can also be based on time, events, stories, or just ideas. He lives and works in Vienna, has taught classes at the art and design college in Graz, held workshops at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and participated in symposiums and talks. 


Valentin Ruhry
Ohne Titel (Welle), 2010
Fluorescent tubes, metal, and cable
31 x 205 x 31.5 inches
Courtesy of Christine König Galerie, Wien, Austria