Coarsely ethereal. These is the first, and awkward, description coming to mind after gazing upon tightly stratified, abstract collages by Ryan Wallace. His inherent connections to all things emotive, musical and experiential coexist in the canvases he populates with upcycled debris, deliberately allowing another layer on top of what already seems too much.
After Wallace’s successful installation at Susan Inglett Gallery in October, Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, California, is bringing another, new series of Wallace’s mixed-media works, accompanied with a series of sculptures as well. The how is entitled The Standard Model, suggesting the already familiar continuance of the artist’s visual exploration, seen in his 2013 show Redactor at the same space. Still, the current series of complex paintings demonstrates an obvious step forward, elaborating he subject and delving further into ideas of materiality, spontaneity and plasticity of perception. (Read about a different idea of a visual dialogue by Mark Hagen).
Aesthetically thought-out, heavily textured paintings by Ryan Wallace deal with duality of visual and conceptual context. From the pictorial side, these works can be observed as abstractions, abundant with suggestive detail and ambiguous fragments, while simultaneously being composed out of clearly recognizable, everyday, materials, including found objects of various structures. Although the conceptual side is strong and inviting, the material is the one element playing the key role here, as it has always been pertinent to Wallace’s works. The deliberate off usage of these selected media to invoke the aesthetic qualities they are not normally associated with. The remaining bits of the creative process itself are in the end frequently integrated into the painting, making it difficult to differentiate between the initial pictorial idea and the outcome. These ‘paintings’ are hardly only painted, they are collaged, assembled, pressed and tiered to the edge of their endurance, pregnant with the energetic and evocative power of the material built within.
The sculptures Wallace creates are compressed embodiments of painting materials, imagined and compressed into the block from compositional painting scraps. They are not released from a block of stone, having quite the opposite emerging process - being envisioned and conjured from nothing, presented as a meaningful sold.
Talking about meaning is an inevitable side-effect of viewing Wallace’s work. The tactile, relief works escape the free ponderings abstract paintings usually inspire, and impose their materiality onto the viewer, whether he be an expert or not. In this sense, the artistic intention is explored to the fullest, reaching its peak in pushing the viewer into the desired train of thinking. Still, there are some factual elements that must not be overlooked.
Upcycling, for one, is something the artist is truly keen on, believing in the might behind the relinquished. Still, the ruggedness of the structural components is somehow erased by the wonderful visual elegance of abstract composition Wallace achieves, which is not only harmonious in rhythmical sense, but in color as well. Whites, pastels, beiges and light browns overlap without clashing, deceiving the viewer into observing these works as paintings, rather than mixed-media pieces of art.
The Standard Model is opening on January 8, 2015 at Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, where it will remain on view through February 14, 2015.
Upcycling is the central obsession of street artist My Dog Sighs, while exploration of texture has become the key expression of the street artist Steve More, now working in studio.
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