Installation view, West gallery
Frank Ryan and Ben Rivera
Ben Rivera, Frank Ryan
April 14 - May 26, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 6-8pm
gallery km is very pleased to present Ben Rivera, Frank Ryan in our West gallery. The exhibition will run from April 14 through May 26th, with a reception for the artists on April 14th, from 6-8pm.
Ben Rivera, Frank Ryan is a joint exhibition by Los Angeles-based artists Frank Ryan and Ben Rivera, featuring solo work by both artists as well as collaborative silkscreens created for the exhibition. Ryan’s solo contributions include highly representational oil paintings on linen and board, while Rivera’s range from sculptures made with found chairs, glass and felt, to silkscreen paintings mounted on aluminum.
Each artist takes classicism as a starting point for an examination of historically embedded modes of looking, and the complicated relation to sincerity and identity endemic to contemporary life, and the contemporary art dialogue. Ryan’s work is highly invested in classical technique, and he uses that technique to question the possibilities of representation, and to underline its inherent voyeurism. Rivera’s work employs controlled repetition in order to highlight the imperfections and distinctions between each presentation.
Doubling, and the relation between multiple views of the same object is a strong theme in the exhibition. Ryan reflects upon the mechanics of both ocular and camera surveillance by mimicking the left-right separation of human eyes in a diptych depicting a funeral parlor with coffins for sale, and through a split painting taken from two consecutive Michelangelo Antonioni film stills. Rivera effects doubling through silkscreen paintings based upon late High Renaissance sculptures, and through a pair of sculptures constructed with chairs bisected by glass.
Both artists utilize their material techniques as a method of removing themselves from the content of their work—intending to create documents rather than interior expressions. Their insistence upon duality, however, brings the viewer back to the impossibility of self-removal in any process involving looking and its inherent subjectivity.
Ben Rivera was born in Honduras in 1971, and lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a simultaneous BA in Latin American Studies and BFA in Painting from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has exhibited at Paredon Blanco and Five Thirty Three in Los Angeles, and at Balazzo Badlands Gallery and Mission Cultural Center and Somarts in San Francisco.
Frank Ryan received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. His work has been included in group shows at gallery km, Latned Atsar, and Paredon Blanco among others in Los Angeles, as well as solo and group shows at Walter Maciel Gallery. He has been featured in Studio Visit Magazine and New American Paintings, and his work has been written about in LA Weekly and the Los Angeles Times.