Mary Ryan Gallery is pleased to present Textual Attraction an exhibition bringing together text-based works by artists working in a wide range of media including drawing, film, installation, and sculpture. While the works in the exhibition will vary conceptually from the humorous to the political, to the philosophical, each work will be defined by its prominent use of words to create image, meaning, or both.
Text has a long history of inclusion in visual art from the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, to brief inclusions in Cubism, Dada's language manipulations, the commercial slogans and packaging of Pop, and the Conceptualism that followed. Artists are drawn to text for many reasons. Whether employed to add emphasis, to assert pure meaning, to further a narrative, or simply to make a joke, text has become an increasingly prevalent element in visual art since the beginning of the 20th century. The artists in this exhibition are contemporary practitioners of this continually evolving genre, employing new materials, processes and social commentary.