In his first solo exhibition with Halsey McKay, Ryan Steadman will present a wall installation of abstractions based on books, including a new series of stack works.
Utilizing a range of sources from rare Bauhaus designs to New Wave-inspired publications, these life-sized paintings employ a wide variety of painting techniques in order to jolt the viewer out of purely recognizing the subject, instead inviting them to quietly meditate on the harmonic yet unexpected balances of painted colors and shapes.
Inspired by both Claes Oldenburg’s early reimagining of familiar objects, as well as by the minimalist gestures of colorists like John McLaughlin, Steadman exalts in simultaneously creating an abstract image and a representational object-in-the-round with paint.
By doing this, the artist not only riffs on different eras of design (including the iconic work of master book cover illustrators such as Saul Bass and Paul Bacon) via both organic curves and geometric forms, but he also references the accidental jagged rips and blobby stains of these aged and worn items.
In Steadman’s work, the book also stands as a symbol of painting itself; a relic in terms of transmitting language which leads one to contemplate both medias current uses and the unique features we’re losing in our more “advanced” forms of communication.
Ryan Steadman has exhibited internationally, with solo shows at Karma, Safe Gallery, and Pablo’s Birthday
in New York, and group exhibitions at Van Doren Waxter in New York and Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton among others. His work has been written about in Time Out New York, Modern Painters, and Artinfo. com. Steadman has written about art for Cultured Magazine, Artforum, and The New York Observer. He also periodically curates exhibitions, including the show RE(a)D at Nathalie Karg Gallery in New York, NY, Trust Issues at Ronchini Gallery in London, UK, and the upcoming exhibition In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior, 1950 - Now at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.