For Check please, his second solo show at Western Exhibitions, Ryan Travis Christian presents graphite on paper drawings featuring his signature cartoon-style alongside a second suite of works on paper and sculptures that employ color. These new bodies of work introduce new elements and motifs (chevrons, spirals and lighting bolts), building on the artist’s already extensive and distinct visual vocabulary (zig-zag linear patterns, hallucinatory energy, optical illusions and fractured spaces). The show opens with a free public reception on Friday, April 25 from 5 to 8pm and runs through June 6, 2014. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm and by appointment.
Ryan Travis Christian’s drawings, (per critic Jason Foumberg) “though not literally animated, are full of motion, explosions, eye-bulges, jazz hands, frenetic patterns and formal gymnastics worthy of a Futurist’s kaleidoscopic vision of a speeding, pulsating humanity.” Smiling faces hide dark secrets in this world as the artist freely imitates retro cartoons such as early Disney and Looney Tunes. He references their slyly vicious humor by stretching, multiplying and isolating the eyes and limbs of his figures and placing them in exaggerated environments. Just as the Imagists did before him, Christian constructs surreal spaces while utilizing dark pop cultural sources as well as an aesthetic akin to visionary artists.
Ryan Travis Christian’s first solo show at Western Exhibitions in 2011 was reviewed in frieze, art ltd, New American Paintings, Daily Serving, and New City. His first museum show at CAM Raleigh in North Carolina in 2013 was reviewed in Art Papers, Indy Week and featured by the Associated Press (video here). Christian’s solo gallery shows include Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco, Halsey McKay in East Hampton, NY and Cooper Cole in Toronto, and has been included in group shows in London, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Dallas and Los Angeles and has curated exhibitions at many of these same venues. New City named Christian as one of Chicago’s “Breakout Artists” for 2010 and named by the same publication as one of Chicago’s “Top 50 Artists’ Artists” in 2012. He lives and works in the Chicagoland area.