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About Ryan SullivanView Profile »
New York-based painter Ryan Sullivan was born in 1983 and received his Bachelor of Fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. In his paintings, Sullivan tempers gesture and authorship through an entropic set of actions. 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 puckered 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.
His newest suite of paintings elucidates the more figurative quality of Sullivan’s practice via resin casts. The works are created through a diachronic process wherein quickly ossifying pigmented resins are applied via pours and brushstrokes to rubber-silicon molds. The resultant image is a record of both the artist's hand and the temporal process of their creation. These works explore both the formal impact of the three-dimensional object and the tension between abstract and figurative two-dimensional image.
The artist’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; Hydra’s Workshop, Hydra, Greece; White Flag Projects, St. Louis; and MoMA PS1, New York. His work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the University of Chicago.
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