Morgan Lehman is pleased to present ‘Cusp,’ Ryan Wallace’s second solo show at the gallery. Wallace combines his research and understanding of contemporary sciences, his ability to incorporate and disguise materials in his paintings, and his laborious studio practice to examine how a planar surface stores information much like a screen, printed page or microchip. Wallace’s process based endeavors evoke familiar tropes through art and natural history.
Canvas and sheets of Mylar are layered over collaged elements to create surfaces that appear flat from a distance. Upon closer inspection a drastic and dramatic topography becomes apparent. At times this relief is trapped behind a milky layer, restricted from an unfettered view. In other works the plane is slashed and pulled apart, as if the picture were building or disintegrating, revealing the guts of a painting. Elsewhere this surfeit of information is obliterated and pushed to the edges creating compositions like those of Jo Baer or Robert Ryman, infected with Wallace’s material grit.
This grit appears as mineral formations in Wallace’s trompe l’oeil sculptures. Caught in vitrines at various stages of development these rock groupings speak to the caves of Chauvet and Lascaux, Giuseppe Penone’s river stones and hobbyist, mold makers in garages (rather than studios). This notion of the amateur craftsman as well as “bling” beauty is frequently addressed as the artist looks to free pedestrian materials like auto tints and glitter from their inherent tackiness and breathe an almost transcendent poetry into them.
Ryan Wallace was born in New York City and currently lives and works in Brooklyn and Amagansett, New York. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and a recent recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant as well as the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts’ Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop SIP Fellowship. In addition to being represented by Morgan Lehman Gallery his multimedia works have recently been exhibited at Rachel Uffner Gallery, ZieherSmith, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Rhode Island School of Design, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Islip Art Museum, The Torrance Art Museum and The Katzen Arts Center at American University. Wallace’s works are held in prominent public and private collections worldwide.