New Paintings by Ryan Martin
Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art is pleased to inaugurate its new space in San Francisco’s famed Flatiron Building with a new series of oil paintings from Oakland-based portraitist Ryan Martin, in his second solo show with the gallery.
Following the warm reception of his 2008 gallery debut, and subsequent successful outings at art fairs in New York, Chicago, and Miami, Ryan Martin continues to probe the boundaries of portraiture, this time with a heavy concentration on color.
As in his earlier work, he places his subjects in surreal, dreamlike landscapes populated with meticulously rendered plants, animals, and figures from mythology. Some of his ancillary figures are immediately recognizable; others seem only to strike a note of vague familiarity somewhere in the subconscious. His subjects, meanwhile – family members, friends, lovers, himself – present themselves with characteristic ambiguity. Are they devoid of emotion entirely, or are their expressions the product of emotional overload? Are the dreamscapes they inhabit peaceful and utopian, or pure nightmare?
Viewed as a whole, Martin’s compositions present as deconstructivist visual biography – an amalgam of objective image and subconsciously generated association that combines to form the totality of experience of another person in the mind of the viewer.
Ryan Martin studied painting at the California College of the Arts. His work has been exhibited across the U.S. Founded in 2006, Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art exhibits new art in all media from emerging and established artists nationally and internationally.
Please join us for the inaugural opening reception at our new space Thursday, October 14 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.