Ruth Lingen: Printer. Printmaker. Papermaker. Bookbinder. Book artist. None of these terms – nor all of them – fully describe Ruth or the impact she has had on the world of artist’s books. Perhaps the best description is experimenter. Indeed, any full description of her work and her collaborations would take up a volume of its own.
Ruth’s collaborations in the world of art and artist’s books reads like a Who’s Who: Timothy Ely. Chuck Close. Jim Dine. Red Grooms. Claes Oldenburg. Shepard Fairey. With her Pooté Press imprint, she has published her own works and those of other book artists: Henrik Drescher. Timothy Ely. Lois Lane. Jonathon Rosen.
Her own work includes an edition of Apollonaire’s “The Hills” and Aesop’s “The Fox and the Farmer.” One of her subversive broadsides is “Women Can’t Be Artists,” a short piece written by a physician that originally appeared in a 1910 issue of the New York Times; of it, Sarah Cowan noted that Ruth’s edition “adds a few typos, shifting our attention from the neurologist’s absurd diagnosis to the absurdity of its ever having been printed.”
For Granary Books, Ruth has letterpress printed Ed Friedman and Robert Kushner’s Away, and typeset and letterpress printed Larry Fagin and Trevor Winkfield’s Dig & Delve and Franz Kamin and Felix Furtwängler’s The Man Who Was Always Standing There. She letterpress printed a previously unpublished short story illustrated by Alexander Calder, “The P-Culiar Dog or The Piddling Pup,” for the Calder Foundation.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, the Houghton Library of Harvard University, and Germany’s Deutsche Nationalbibliotek and Kunstbibliotek, among others, have Ruth’s work in their collections. In 2000, she received the Dieu Donné Art Award for outstanding contributions to the field of paper art. She has twice received the 50 Books/50 Covers Award from the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
Poet and art critic Vincent Katz noted, “Like Ruth herself, her books are optimistic, careful, full of life, and sunny. There is always a glimmer of mischief lurking.”