After graduating from the School of the Art Institute, Alison Ruttan spent much of the 1980s in New York exhibiting at alternative art spaces. She returned to Chicago in 1990, got a job teaching at SAIC, and soon began showing her work at Beret International. Her fall ’95 show featured “Play Balls,” a series of rubber balls wrapped in men’s and women’s underwear (visitors were invited to bounce the artwork), and “Dough Girls,” loaves of bread baked in an aluminum cast of the artist’s derriere (each loaf were a pair of undies).

“Ned has a good sense of the aspect of play in art, of trying something out. He’s more willing to gamble on an artist with an interesting idea and see where it goes. If he trusts them, he doesn’t question their process–he just stands back and lets the person do it.”


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Nathan Mandell.