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In Galle ry 1\, Ryan Travis Christian presents a new series of work s on paper collectively titled "The River Rats" and in Gallery 2\, a select ion of collaborative drawings by Christian and a group of artist friends fr om across the U.S. The show opens on Friday\, October 21 with a free public reception from 5 to 8pm and will run through Dece mber 3\, 2011. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday\, 11am to 6pm a nd by appointment.

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Conceived in the spirit of George Condo\, Ub Iwer ks\, The Hairy Who\, construction-site warning signage\, and a vast assortm ent of other visual elements\, Ryan Travis Christian's new series of graphi c graphite drawings\, "The River Rats"\, are inspired by outwardly surreal personal narratives. The drawings are fueled by the absurdity of life in hi s small hometown and take the "River Rats" as endlessly fascinating subject s for both studies and stories. Recently waxing nostalgic for these ridicul ous characters and instances\, the pieces have been created in the last 5 m onths with recurring themes of\, but not limited to\; fires\, wheelchairs\, heavy petting\, fireworks\, drug and alcohol usage\, rivers\, boats\, beat up cars\, death\, homes\, speed bumps\, and cats.

Over the pa st three years Christian has developed an idiosyncratic style of drawing: d ensely layered intensities of graphite pencil\, graphic yet amorphous styli stic flourishes\, in high contrast and slow motion\, and executed in a cart oon y/ comic-esque style\, but in an understated sort of way. Working in a stream- of-conscious fashion\, Christian inserts his signature characters i nto hazy sfumato-esque landscapes and skewed spaces alike that repeatedly m elt and coalesce.

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This is Ryan Travis Christian’s first solo show at Western Exhibitions. Christian has had solo shows at Gue rrero Gallery in San Francisco Ebersmoore in Chicago\, and has been include d in group show at Show and Tell in Toronto\, Eric Firestone Gallery in Eas t Hampton\, MAMA in Rotterdam\, Baer Ridgway in San Francisco\, Space 1026 in Philadelphia and Synchronicty in Los Angeles and has curated exhibitions at many of these same venues. In 2010 Christian organized a three-part exh ibition\, “The Power of Selection\, Parts 1\, 2\, and 3” at Western Exhibit ions\, the goal of which was to increase the circulation of contemporary ar twork seen in Chicago by showing works by out of town and/or up-and-coming artists. New City named Christian as one of Chicago’s “Breakout Ar tists” for 2010 and his work has been written about in Daily Serving\, Beautiful/Decay and The Chicago Reader. He lives and works in the Chicagoland area.

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DTEND:20111203 DTSTAMP:20140920T225949 DTSTART:20111021 GEO:41.8830765;-87.6492422 LOCATION:Western Exhibitions\,845 W Washington Blvd. 2nd Floor \nChicago \ , IL 60607 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The River Rats\, Ryan Travis Christian UID:183213 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20111021T200000 DTSTAMP:20140920T225949 DTSTART:20111021T170000 GEO:41.8830765;-87.6492422 LOCATION:Western Exhibitions\,845 W Washington Blvd. 2nd Floor \nChicago \ , IL 60607 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The River Rats\, Ryan Travis Christian UID:183214 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR