Two Mixed-Media Artists Make Innovative Use of Unlikely Materials

Ryan Wallace combines raw pigments, acrylic, cold wax, glass powder, automotive tints, tape, and vinyl to find new textural forms on canvas. Wallace pushes the limits of abstract painting and two-dimensional collage, making striking juxtapositions between each layer of found material. A selection of his recent works will be on view at Mark Moore Gallery in early 2015, followed soon after by a show of paintings by Julie Oppermann

Wallace’s interests in geography, data collection, and cosmology inform his works’ topographic-like patterns and striking compositions. Pieces like Redactor X (2013), Redactor 2 (2014), and Untitled (Blue) (2013) challenge viewers’ visual perception and generate a micro-to-macro optical effect, wherein the focus may be a zoomed-in look at a piece of detritus or a wide-lens aerial view of a patchy landscape. His practice involves “subtle compositional gestures” and a spirited exploration of new processes, as well as a curiosity in common materials that is not unlike that of Mark Bradford. Wallace’s works differ though in being devoid of text, and relying on a monochromatic palette of industrial paints to elicit meaning.

When Wallace’s show closes, a series of Julie Oppermann’s visually arresting paintings will go on view. Like Wallace, Oppermann challenges perception in her works and makes innovative use of unlikely materials. Unlike Wallace’s her work takes an especially digital direction, translating moire patterns and pixels into paint on a canvas. Like a television with a warped signal or a computer screen frozen into block-like pixels, her work seems like a digital iteration of Abstract Expressionist painting. While diverse in form and color combinations, each work is made with a consistent glitch aesthetic—one that celebrates a high frequency of visual noise.

In untitled / ohne titel (ypf03) (2012), blurry orbs of electric blues and oranges bounce off each other, pulsating under a stretch of vertical black lines. Mesmerizing and hypnotic, this two-dimensional work on paper ripples with dramatic illusions of space. Oppermann’s interests in sensory interference and color theory run as undercurrents to what are psychedelically-colored, cryptically-named works. A tension between rigorous lines and chaotic color warps reign supreme in her work, and we are left overwhelmed but still eager to see more.

Anna Furman

Ryan Wallace is on view at Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA, Jan. 8–Feb. 14, 2015; 

Julie Oppermann is on view at Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA, Feb. 19–Mar. 21, 2015.

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