This painting depicts an unfamiliar and otherworldly landscape of plateaus, crater-like indentations, hillocks and gables rendered with delicate shading. The composition features a 3-dimensional visual effect similar to trompe l'oeil. Part of a series by the artist, this work was created by affixing sifted sand and decomposed granite to the canvas—building up a surface that intricately interacts with the painted depths below. This meticulous process subtly influences the composition's intricate color palette and allows layers of bright underpainting to peak through, encouraging viewers to take a closer look. Informed by ancient ruins, industrial landscapes and digital video game backgrounds, Jonathan Ryan creates pictorial puzzles featuring scenes that might be from a distant future or from some remote corner of our current world.
Jonathan Ryan’s compositions are pictorial puzzles, evoking either a distant future or some remote corner of our current world. Drawing inspiration from ancient ruins, industrial landscapes and the backgrounds of digital video games, the artist affixes sifted sand and decomposed granite directly to his work—creating built up surfaces that interact with the paint in intricate ways. Ryan renders plateaus, crater-like indentations and hillocks with delicate shading, evoking the visual effect of trompe l'oeil—a kind of 3D optical illusion used throughout art history.
Jonathan Ryan received a BFA from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2011 and an MFA from the Tyler School of Fine Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2014.
Solo exhibitions of Ryan’s work have taken place at the Landing Gallery in Los Angeles, California in 2022, 2021 and 2019. The artist’s work has also been shown as part of a two-person presentation at Intersect Palm Springs in California in 2022 and a two-person exhibition at the Landing Gallery in 2018. Ryan’s paintings have been included in group presentations at: NADA Miami in Florida in 2021, 2019 and 2018; at NADA New York in 2018; and at Art Los Angeles Contemporary in California in 2020 and 2019.
Group exhibitions that have shown Ryan’s work include: Shifting Instinct at The Ekru Project in Kansas City, Missouri (2022); Magical Thinking at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, California (2022); Beside Site, with Jacob’s West at Spring Break Art Show in Los Angeles, California (2020); Sarah Cain, Esther Ruiz, Jonathan Ryan at Jacob’s West in Los Angeles, California (2018); The Collectivists at The Brand Library in Glendale, California (2017); Trust Fall and Objective Non-Objective at Gallery ALSO in Los Angeles, California (both 2017); Risky Behavior at Field Projects in New York City (2016); The Garden at Tiger Strikes Asteroid LA in Los Angeles, California (2016); MAS Attack at San Diego Art Institute in San Diego, California (2016); The Office Party at Tiger Strikes Asteroid LA in Los Angeles, California (2015); Woodmere Annual at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2014); Fifty Five or Sixty at Temple Contemporary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2014); Low Rumble at Gallery 102, Crane Arts Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2013); and Lost and Found: Louisiana’s Landscape Revisited at Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Louisiana (2012).
Ryan has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes, including: the Woodmere Endowment Fund Memorial Prize from the Woodmere Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; a University Fellowship from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; a fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont; and the Charles Craig Travel Grant from the LSU School of Art in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Ryan lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
This painting depicts an unfamiliar and otherworldly landscape rendered with delicate shading. This work was created by affixing sifted sand and decomposed granite to the canvas, building up a surface that intricately interacts with the painted depths below.More