Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is pleased to announce Women: Sun-Stained Symbols, an exhibition of new work by Ryan McGinness. The show will open with a reception for the artist on Saturday, August 4th, from 6 to 8 pm, and will be on view through September 3rd.
The exhibition will consist of two related series of works, “process drawings” and cyanotypes, which both focus on a single motif: the female nude. The process drawings show multiple stages of McGinness’ artistic process on a single sheet of paper. He begins with a drawing from life; reworks the drawing into a simplified graphic rendering; and then further refines the form to produce a flat, diagrammatic representation. This is digitally scanned and transformed into a vector image, which is then printed onto the drawing paper along with a small black-and-white snapshot taken during the original modeling session. The result is a multi-media work that compresses a series of discrete moments into a single image. The process drawings display an aesthetic affinity to Cubism, both in McGinness’ reduction of form to an arrangement of simplified graphic elements, and in his compression of time into a unified visual field.
The second part of the exhibition features a series of cyanotypes: vivid blue and white photographic prints created through the exposure of specially emulsified paper to sunlight for several hours. The imagery in the cyanotypes is directly derived from the process drawings, and thus these works can be seen as yet one more step in McGinness’ artistic practice; however, it is a step in a decidedly different direction. Whereas the process drawings begin with the artist’s hand and move increasingly toward a flat, graphic, digitalized coolness,, cyanotype is a defiantly analog medium. To use the technique is to embrace heat, chance effect, a deliberate pace, and the vagaries of weather. McGinness uses the physicality of the cyanotype medium to mirror the sensuality of his content: with a palette of deep blue and brilliant white, these languid nude forms evoke the sultry heat, bright light, and erotic charge of a seaside summer afternoon.
Ryan McGinness last showed at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in the Summer of 2006, at a time when he was just emerging as one of the stars of the contemporary art world. Since then he has developed an impressive body of work, notable not only for the extraordinary graphic facility and subversive wit that were always apparent, but for the aesthetic rigor of his approach and the impressive variety of projects he has undertaken.
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