Ryan Wallace

United States 1977

Installation, Sculpture, Painting


Ryan Wallace
Ryan Wallace
United States
November 30, 2014
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Ryan Wallace works on multiple themes at the same time, using different types of paint. He draws on paper, paints on wooden panels, canvases and sometimes mixes them all together. He can wondrously multitask, and sometimes even works on few pieces at the same time. Wallace uses tape, shredded paper, wax and other rejected studio material to create his abstractions. The artist intentionally leaves the reference of his work hidden, allowing the viewer to experience the painting in his own style. What Wallace makes are not just simple paintings, they are more the multidimensional creations that require time and space to be comprehended in fullness.

2013 2010 policy list 2016 view gallery use mark contact 2016 view gallery use mark contact 2016 view gallery use mark contact 2012 link information press cooper cole terms 2012 link information press cooper cole terms 2012 link information press cooper cole terms Ryan Wallace - Karp - Rye, 2015
Ryan Wallace – Karp – Rye, 2015

Ideas Hidden in Landscapes

Ryan Wallace was born in New York in 1977, and he went to Rhode Island School of Design, where he graduated in 1999 with Bachelor of Fine Arts. Ever since he started pursuing art he could not separate the metaphysical from the concrete subjects that concern him. In his mix media works, he sticks to putting his formations in landscape mode, but beyond them, hides the horizon of hidden references to intangible concepts. He exhibited his pieces all around USA and Europe. In 2011, he received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Since he works under the theme of ideas and notions, he avoids linear space and categorical shapes. His work is introspective and requires some contemplation. He believes that there was a greater world before we shaped it into its present look. The form just traps the essence, and that is the reason he breaks the formations into separate abstractions. The undefined landscapes still carry the remains of the definitions, so that is where the introspection steps in. We all have, in our consciousness, the answers to questions, we just need the external stimulus to move us. That is the purpose of his art.

Wallace uses tape, shredded paper, wax and other rejected studio material to create his abstractions

2013 2010 policy list Ryan Wallace - The Standard Model Series, 2015
Ryan Wallace – The Standard Model Series, 2015

Geometry and Cold Tones

Wallace uses cold tones colors and geometrical abstractions. What moves him is how humanity evolves and how out lives are changing constantly. Evolution in technology changed everything we knew about work, health, psychology. Yet, some mysteries still stayed hidden. The origin of life and the truth that transcends the human experience are just a few of the topics that interest him. When he tries to express them, he chooses the unnatural forms and cold colors, to symbolize the nonhuman nature of those ideas. The one dimension that still belongs to this world is space and when he paints, he tries to use the most of it. Light is also very important, and Wallace stays very careful in how he uses it to emphasize the appeal of his mysterious pieces. Familiar motifs, such as geometrical shapes, have the role of guiding the viewer through his work. After they get into the painting they are left to themselves. The dialog between the artist and the viewer, through the abstract painting, is the crucial element of his art.

Wallace plays with light and uses it to emphasize the appeal of his mysterious pieces

2013 2010 policy list Ryan Wallace - (((Ω.))), 2011
Ryan Wallace – (((Ω.))), 2011

Omega Point and the Importance of the Context

Context is very important for right comprehension of the artist’s intentions. Sometimes, it is not about the meaning, it is about an experience. When he had a duo exhibition in 2011 with artist Hilary Pecis, he showed his Omega Point in contrast of the Pecis’ work. The contradiction sometimes gives the best definition, and without seeing what is not, we couldn’t see what it really is. These dichotomies stand as an agency of logic and the artist uses them well. A typical property of his paintings are hidden references, that cannot be seen at first glance. Sometimes they are only visible thanks to the gallery light. It is a note to an importance of set and setting, and they are the attributes of the concept of space. Where we see something is as important as the subject of our perception. In Omega Point series the viewer has to search for the meaning. Tangled brush movements lead to the center of the paintings where light and highlights stress out the core of the image. The paintings are successively positioned near each other in the gallery, so they can echo through the room.

In Omega Point, tangled brush movements lead to the center of the paintings

Ryan Wallace - (((Ω.))) Installation 3, 2011
Ryan Wallace – (((Ω.))) Installation 3, 2011

Recreations and Recycling

Ryan Wallace often uses recycled material. He constructs and reconstructs his works imitating the natural cycle of birth and dying. What vanished in a material sense, did not die in the world of ideas, and can still be reborn and recreated. Playing in a personal ecosystem, the artist performs his own reincarnations. Every time he rebuilds his pieces he gives them a new dimension. Along with his changes, there is also the connection to the time flow. As the time goes by, the occurrences around us change, and his mission is to mark its passing in the artistic form. He does that in the form of painting, installations and sculpture. He uses acrylics, tape, plastic, in addition to concrete and plaster that he places in molds and carefully transfers onto panels. All these mediums are united under one idea, of showing the unseen in the landscape of hidden material shapes.

Ryan Wallace lives and works in New York.

All images © Ryan Wallace

Featured image: Ryan Wallace – Wallace in his studio, January, 2012, photo credits Sightunseen

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Capsule56 Henry, New York, NYSolo
2016DragnalusCooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, ON, CanadaSolo
2016Ryan Wallace & Koen TaselaarBoeske & Hofland, Leipzig, GermanyDuo
2015LD50Romer Young Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2015The Standard ModelMark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2015Karp - RyeGerhard Hofland, Amsterdam, NetherlandsDuo
2015Pattern::::ChaosCinders, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2015Surph, The Barn ShowJohannes Vogt Gallery, East Hampton, NYGroup
2015Works On PaperHunted Projects, Tillburg, NetherlandsGroup
2015The Search for the RealDeBuck Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2014Ryan WallaceSusan Inglett Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2014Ghost CurrentV1 Gallery, CopenhagenGroup
2014Dazed & ConfusedEric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NYGroup
2014Ain'tingsRobert Blumenthal Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Ryan Wallace - RedactorMark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2013Ryan Wallace - TabletMarianne Friis Gallery, CopenhagenSolo
2013Static & ScrimCooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, Ontario CanadaGroup
2012Ryan WallaceMorgan Lehman Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2012Group ShowGuerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2012New York – New TendenciesMarianne Friis Gallery, CopenhagenGroup
2012Swamp, curated by Kari AdelaideEdgar Allan Poe Visitor Center Gallery, Bronx, New YorkGroup
2012Pig Party, curated by Gina BeaversNew York City, New York, New YorkGroup
2012Black Foliage Nudashank, Baltimore, MarylandGroup
2012Where My Cones AtDouble Break, San Diego, California | POVevolving, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2012The Boneyard Project: Return TripPIMA Air & Space Museum, Tucson, ArizonaGroup
2011Omega PointGuerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2011Grasping For RelicsZieherSmith, New York City, NYGroup
2011 Summer WhitesRachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2011This Place in TimeCooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, CanadaGroup
2011Flag DayIslip Art Museum, Islip, New YorkGroup
2011Forth Estate EditionsThe Wild Project, New York, NYGroup
2010Ryan Wallace: GleanMorgan Lehman Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2010Ah, WildernessEbersmoore, Chicago, ILGroup
2010Inaugural Group ShowGuerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2010FAX Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CAGroup
2010Know New YorkCinders Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009InfinityScion Space, Culver City, CAGroup
2009SuperfineMorgan Lehman Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009The New Yorkers V1 Gallery, CopenhagenGroup
2008A Singularity Is NearEnvoy enterprises, New York City, NYSolo
2008T.A.A.T.T.IGallery Envoy, New York City, NYGroup
2007Lifetime Collective - All in Together NowReceiver Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2006Grand UnionFront Room Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005The Hissing of Summer LawnsSara Nightingale Gallery, Water Mill, NYGroup
2004Sieze TomorrowBLK/MRKT Gallery, Culver City, CAGroup
2004Andrew Schoultz, Ryan WallaceKinsey/DesForges Gallery, Culver City, CAGroup
2003AssemblyFront Room Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2002Dime BagNew Image Art Gallery, West Hollywood, CAGroup
2002The Panorama ProjectFront Room Gallery, New York City, NYGroup