This painting depicts a horse and several transparent figures in a collaged scene. The thin layers of paint create a disorienting effect to both this work's subjects and its narrative.
The subjects of Ryan Nault’s paintings are drawn from photographs, screenshots from the internet, and social media; banal and deadpan scenes are cropped and zoomed in to their peripheries, and then painted directly from the screen. Employing a visual technique informed by the deep history of the medium, the artist recreates the flatness and artificiality of looking at a screen. Nault's paintings are accumulations of abstract marks that often struggle to cohere into an image when seen up close—challenging viewers' sense of certainty about both what they are looking at and how they are looking. The artist's quick and deliberate brush strokes become a record of both time and the movement of the artist’s body. The resulting compositions bring viewers back into the moment, reminding them of the temporal quality of the medium and their role as participants in the becoming historical of the present.
Employing a visual shorthand that draws from the deep history of the medium, Ryan Nault’s paintings recreate the flatness and artificiality of looking at a screen. The artist paints directly from screen-cropped and enlarged photos taken from the internet and social media. Nault’s paintings are accumulations of abstract marks that often struggle to cohere into an image when viewed up close—challenging viewers’ sense of certainty about both the work’s subject and the act of looking itself.
Ryan Nault was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1991. The artist received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois in 2015.
Exhibitions of Nault’s work include: Hand Painted Pictures at MICKEY in Chicago, Illinois; The Long Dream at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in Illinois; Operator? at Soul Cairn Projects in Hong Kong, China; and The Storytellers at Carrie Secrist in Chicago, Illinois.
Nault lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.