Ruth Aizuss Migdal is a first generation American. She was born in a Jewish Immigrant neighborhood on Chicago’s West side where education and culture were highly valued. She took great advantage of all the cultural opportunities available there. She saw movies of Shakespeare’s plays at the Circle Theatre at Roosevelt Road and Spaulding, movies of operas were at another theatre on Madison and Kedzie Avenues. She was allowed free access to every opera, ballet and theatre performance at the opera house, from her junior year of high school through her education at the Art Institute of Chicago by volunteer work at the concession stands before the performances.
Her education includes a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MFA from the University of Illinois in Champaign, both in Painting and Printmaking. As she turned to sculpture, her classical education enabled her to master a variety of materials. Ruth’s paintings and wood sculptures were abstract until 1971 when she began exploring the female figure. Ruth now works in bronze and steel, creating large abstracted figurative sculptures.
Ruth’s latest bronze sculpture called “Radiating” is influenced by what she learned in making public sculptures. She found herself freer and taking more chances. She likes the bronze to shine brightly. The size and complexity of “Radiating” made wire brushing impractical, so she decided to use gold leaf. This brightened the bronze. Ruth placed gold leaf in the prominent areas to highlight the sculpture. Purdue University North Central, Westville Indiana. She has also added gold leaf to her small bronze sculptures.
Ruth’s sculptures are brazen and bold with frivolity. Her current body of public sculpture continues in the direction of the red dancing lady. These powerful female dancers exemplify their free spirit, joyfulness and perseverance. The large dancing figures express independence, strength and a lust for life. “Whirling Dervish”, and “Here” are prime examples of her red dancing figures — currently located at Douglas Park and Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.