Michael S. Ryan
Old Dominion University, 1972, NA
The University of Iowa, 1974, BFA, MA
SOLO Shows since 2005
Galesburg, Il Art Center, Kirkwood Community College, Cornell College, Catriri's Gallery, Iowa Artisan's Gallery, Lowe Art center, Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation
I have been a painter for over forty years. I was fortunate to study at some very dynamic schools and with some very great individuals. I studied at Drake University, Old Dominion University, and the University Of Iowa. During these early days, I was able to learn from some great painters...especially Michael Tyzack....an early British hard edge abstract painter. These mentors sent me into the world with a burning desire to produce art and, perhaps more importantly,an idea on how to survive as an artist. I particularly like the quote(not sure who said it) that if you are still painting 5 years after leaving school you can be considered a serious artist but if not..then you are at least well educated. Since those early years I have continued to paint and have had some success. Even though I am now close to retirement age, I continue to paint and show very aggressively....averaging at least two major shows each year and continue to search for new galleries and venues for my work.
I was trained as an abstract painter, decidedly oriented to New York and Europe. As I looked around the art world I came across the Bay Area Figurative movement and the moves they made away from pure abstraction made sense to me. So in about 1980, I began painting landscapes while using many of the tenents of the abstract movement...color fields, gestural painting, covering and uncovering marks on the canvas, monumentality, all the while using the landscape as vehicle of access for the audience or viewer. I consider the "hand of the artist" an all important element in any painting ( or other artwork).
In my paintings you can expect to see vivid color, strong design elements, strong aggressive brushwork, and, I hope, just a touch of poetry. My art can be seen on my website msryanart.com.
Michael S. Ryan 2011