Following on the international attention of the gallery’s Tejo Remy & Rene Veenhuizen exhibition, the gallery found it the perfect opportunity to point its new glare at the work and career of Chris Rucker, an emerging designer living in New York City. On May 15, 2010, Industry opened the first solo U.S. exhibition of Rucker’s work. Rucker's design ethos is rooted in the use and reuse of simple and humble material. His principal medium, oriented strand board (OSB), an engineered wood product made from fast-growing trees, is usually used for flooring, walls, ceilings 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." (Rucker also cites Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra and Matthew Barney as influences).
In 2007, he began making cushions and quilts from packing blankets. His construction process utilizes plywood box 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." The centerpiece of the installation formed a construction of his “Basic Chairs,” arranged in the gallery geometrically across a plane. The center of this plane however was purposefully left vacant, to allow for a peaceful oasis in the center of the installation.
Coming immediately off the heels of the gallery’s Tejo Remy & Rene Veenhuizen exhibition, Chris Rucker’s exhibition opened on May 15, 2010 to tremendous interest among both art and design collectors. Just like the Remy & Veenhuizen exhibition before him, Rucker’s work founds its way into major art blogs, such as artdaily.com, which elaborated on the designer’s use of his favorite material: Oriented Strand Board (OSB) (http://artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=38051#.VL1eu0fF83U). The important design blog “Design Milk” surveyed Rucker’s famous “Double Chairs” and declared the designer “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."(http://design-milk.com/chris-rucker-at-industry-gallery/). In an interview about the exhibition with Wallpaper Magazine, Rucker’s revealed on of the true inspirations behind his chairs—the great artist Sol Le Witt. “I like repeating something with an equation,” said Rucker, “tweaking the variables and pushing a piece to the point where it abstracts from its original form and becomes something new.” (http://www.wallpaper.com/design/chris-rucker-furniture-exhibition-washington-dc/4524).