OBSERVATIONS BY ALAN ROSENBERG

IN DREAMS AWAKE - KATHY RUTTENBERG ON BROADWAY

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The exhibition of new sculptures by Kathy Ruttenberg opens today at Francis Naumann Gallery:  The vernissage is also a celebration for the newly published book on the artist, for which I wrote an essay. In Dreams Awake: Kathy Ruttenberg on Broadway is pubished by Suzanne Slesin’s Pointed Leaf Press (https://pointedleafpress.com/#/in-dreams-awake/) and includes essays by Adrian Dannat and Deborah A. Goldberg as well as mine. In 2018 Kathy Ruttenberg made her Broadway debut as a new kind of story-telling impresaria. In Dreams Awake was a hit with New Yorkers and tourists alike; however, this lavish production was not a new multi-million dollar musical theatre blockbuster. Instead of actors and dancers on a stage, the stars of this show were Ruttenberg’s chimerical creations. The production comprised six acts in the form of six large-scale sculptures, staged in six locations along Broadway. No tickets were required and the show was on view to an audience of tens of thousands, day and night, for a triumphant year-long engagement. It was Henry David Thoreau who said, “Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake,” and Ruttenberg’s artistic extrapolation on his observation delightfully blurred the lines between art and life . . . fantasy and reality.