Araluce is an artist and scenic designer based in Seattle. His immersive, hyperreal environments, in the form of both room-sized installations and miniature works, reflect his fascination with forgotten and transitional spaces and with what lies hidden there. He incorporates light, sound, and meticulously constructed trompe-l’oeil elements into his installations to create subtle narratives and suggestions of spaces just out of reach, enhancing the feeling that viewers have entered a new, unnerving reality.
Araluce’s interdisciplinary works reflect his intense engagement with materials and process. Nearly all elements of his installations are fabricated by Araluce himself, from handmade pipe fittings to hand-carved furniture to wood painted to exactly resemble concrete cracking with age, all designed to help deepen the illusion of a forgotten reality. One of Araluce’s inspirations is miniaturist and criminologist Frances Glessner Lee, whose works are the subject of the exhibition Murder is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death in the adjoining galleries.
This site-specific installation was designed by Araluce for the Renwick Gallery as part of the museum’s ongoing exploration of large-scale contemporary works in its historic gallery spaces. Nora Atkinson, the museum’s Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, organized the installation.
Rick Araluce: The Final Stop is organized by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.