Richard Ryan is a contemporary artist whose still life and figurative paintings and prints feature highly structured yet enigmatic compositions and a clear, luminous palate. Ryan’s work is realist in style, and is imbued with myth, mysticism, and the metaphysical. His subject matter is drawn from pop cultural and allegorical sources, and his imagery is often reminiscent of the altar, informed in part by his childhood experiences as an altar boy.
Scapes II, created during a collaboration with Wingate Studio in 2008, exhibits a quiet reverence, enveloping the viewer in its stillness and intimacy. The print displays the subtlety, secretiveness, and hyperrealistic intensity that is so characteristic of Ryan’s work. Ryan is systematic in his approach, and it is common for him to move between drawing, painting, and printmaking, allowing his experience within one medium to inform the work he makes within others. In this case, Ryan began with gouache paintings where he watered down the paint to give a highly transparent and delicate effect. This effect was recreated in his masterful use of spit bite for Scapes II.
Richard Ryan is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Guggenheim Fellowship. His work is in the collections of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and the Fogg Museum of Art in Boston, among others, and he has exhibited nationally and internationally. Ryan currently lives in Northfield, Massachusetts and is a professor of painting at Boston University.