Maccarone is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition by New York-based artist Ryan Sullivan.
In several large-scale paintings, Sullivan tempers gesture and authorship through an entropic set of actions. The works often invoke topographies, with a strikingly physical surface that undermines simple signification. The cracks, mounds and fissures manifest the electric instability of the painted surface while rendering the precarious state permanent.
Sullivan’s thickly applied canvases summon the materiality and alchemy inherent to paint. Laying his canvases horizontally, the artist adds layers of latex, oil, and enamel to create pooled pockets that slowly coagulate into unanticipated leathery skins and weighty flesh. Lifting the half-dry canvas, Sullivan subjects the paint to gravity, concurrently dumping out some under-painting while activating other layers beneath: with this gesture, the artist relinquishes partial authorial control. The final application of spray paint deftly captures the contours of the morphing paint.
Published in conjunction with the exhibition, an artist book of photos anchors Sullivan’s observations on the architecture of material. The combing of decay, human wear, accumulation and disintegration in these images connects natural forces with the hermetic studio practice.
Ryan Sullivan was born in 1983 and received his Bachelor of Fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. The artist’s work has appeared in group exhibitions including Greater New York at P.S 1 MoMA, Queens; Luxembourg & Dayan, London; Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; VeneKlasen/Werner, Berlin; and Nicole Klagsbrun, New York.