A curious emptiness permeates the work of Chris Ballantyne. Banal features of suburban and industrial zones are sources for paintings that highlight the quirky and absurd. Graphically-rendered buildings, pools, parking lots, and fences take on new meanings and amplified significance, isolated on flat fields of color.
Dysfunctional structures are flawless in their strangeness, made beautiful through symmetry, simplified lines and flat, subdued colors. Ballantyne eliminates detail to emphasize the subtleties of the way we experience space and our attempts at containment. He extends these concepts further by expanding the imagery of his paintings beyond the picture plane and onto the surrounding walls. With shrewd restraint, Ballantyne accentuates the antisocial effects of our built environment with a hint of humor and plenty of ambiguity.
Chris Ballantyne received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and resides in Brooklyn. He was included in the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, and Bay Area Now at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco in 2005. His work is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
His work can be seen in the exhibition “Worlds Away” now at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and beginning Oct 4 at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. His work also is part of “Passageworks: Contemporary Art from the Collection” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opening Oct 25.