Galerie Richard is pleased to present the fifth solo exhibition of David Ryan, entitled Manicuring the Ephemera, from October 4 to November 26, 2017. David Ryan’s bas-reliefs have helped him establish a reputation in the field of three-dimensional wall paintings/sculptures. Ryan’s compositions display refined and unexpected arrangements of color that build up in entangled layers of monochromatic panels. In 2013, Ryan became interested in revisiting the concepts of Abstract Expressionism in painting. He began to replace the controlled, slender, and sensuous lines that had until then inspired him (reminiscent of the smooth metalic design of sports cars and other objects) with spontaneous, automated lines. The word ephemera in the exhibition’s title suggests the nature of the ideas that are expressed in their shape by the trace that results of using a computer mouse. Manicuring the Ephemera speaks of the added artistic value provided by the careful and precise technical process involved in the creation of the works. Ryan ‘s new work celebrates the cursory aspects of the mundane, and their role in desacralizing the status of concept and skill in the creative process.
In the words of the artist: «Simple marks do not describe their author as a virtuoso or skilled draftsman. They describe a moment in time when everyone is becoming an artist. Automation is displacing individuals from their career trajectories and, by default, most will become artists of some discipline. Technology allows the unskilled visionary to create and obtain a mass-produced polished finish. This will improve with time, as it is an extension of technology into human change and our concept of production. I think of Ab-Ex painters such as Jackson Pollock whose marks were essentially a live recording of his gestures as he applied paint to the canvas. When I make my gesture with the mouse on the pad, this trace can be manipulated with a click-and-drag into a heroic scale that manifests onto the screen. This initial trace can then can be undone, and another alteration can be performed repeatedly, until a the creative desire is satiated. In other words, yesterday’s post-production has become today’s starting point for artists.»
«In like manner, before recorded music, bands of musicians would tour from town to town. The audience would anticipate their arrival and attend their performance. Then the band would travel to the next town and the memory would linger in the ears and on the lips of those who witnessed the performance. In this sense, I was inspired by Brian Eno, who proposed that once we developed recording abilities, the recording studio became a tool in itself. The Beatles are a great example of this. I compare live performance and recording studio practices to the practices of early artists and those of the artist of today. The mindset is not in the same place, but the aesthetics are embraced similarly.»
«Hopefully my simple-gesture designs will result in enough complexities to capture and hold the audience’s attention. These works, which I call 2.5D, start with quick gestures produced using a computer mouse. Then, lines are widened until their edges become shapes creating forms that weren’t necessarily intended. Once this is achieved, the works become autonomous. That collaboration with technology is what I’m after. This is the way the works in the New York exhibition were created and their history is embedded within the finished objects on display. The shapes are extruded into existence via a CNC router that I have nicknamed Kathleen Hanna. Once KH cuts the panels, I sand the material, paint it, and layer it until it is ready to glue. It sounds simple and it is supposed to appear that way. There should be no visible trace of the artist’s hand on the surface of these works, as it should be ingrained within the design.»
The basic act of painting for Ryan involves the consistent integration of PVC monochromatic panels through color. Thus, the original lines created by the artist continue to exist in the works both as the space between the panels, but also as color connectors that trascend the limits of each panel. And because these lines are the result of a process of automation, there is a continual cycle that is reflected on each work.
David Ryan was born in 1971 in Houston, TX. He lives and works in Las Vegas. Ryan received a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His work is part of the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Palms Springs Art Museum, the Las Vegas Museum, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles, and the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.