The Columns

Staniar Gallery Presents “the sun that never sets,” an Exhibit by Paul Ryan

— by on August 31st, 2015

Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery presents “the sun that never sets,” an exhibit of paintings by Staunton-based artist Paul Ryan. The show will be on view Sept. 7-Oct. 4. Ryan will give an artist’s talk on Sept. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall.

The lecture will be followed by a reception for the artist. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

As an abstract painter, Ryan combines a natural attentiveness to formal problems with a reflective consideration of conceptual ideas. In his new work he is developing a visual vocabulary derived from the forms of everyday commercial packaging—the unfolded shapes of the cardboard cartons and containers and the eccentric visual structures that occur when their silhouettes are combined within the picture plane.

Ryan is equally interested in the conceptual implications of his source material, which have inherent associations with desire, exchange, acquisition and consumption—activating the paintings as visual metaphors for the operations and effects of late capitalism.

The exhibition is accompanied by a complimentary catalogue, available while supplies last, that includes an essay by Ashley Kistler, the director of the Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth School of the Arts.

The exhibition will travel to the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia) where it will be on view from Dec. 3-Feb. 7, 2016, and Reynolds Gallery (Richmond, Virginia) where it will be on view from Feb. 26-April 8, 2016.

Ryan, a painter and art critic, is a professor of art at Mary Baldwin College. Since 1983, he has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in a variety of venues, including Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia (Fredonia, New York), Hartell Gallery at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, Virginia) and the Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, Virginia).

He has been a contributing editor for Art Papers Magazine since 1990. Since 1989, his writing has appeared in publications such as Art Papers Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, ArtLies and Art in America.

Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.

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