This still life painting depicts a table top with a bowl of produce and a closed book on a windowsill. This work is a formal exploration of the artist’s interest in light and color.
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.