Silas Marder Gallery is pleased to announce Ryan McGinness: Sign Trees, a solo exhibition of recent paintings and sculptures, opening August 1, 2015 and on view through August 30, 2015. A reception for the artist will be held Saturday, August 1 from 4-8pm.
In this most recent body of work, McGinness appropriates the common street sign, using off-the-shelf industrial parts to create objects that imitate the style of the urban transportation system. The Sign Trees resemble overpopulated traffic signposts, each trunk splitting off into a constellation of branches supporting panels arrayed with the artist’s signature symbols. Of the work, McGinness writes, “The drawings use the iconic visual language of signage, but instead of communicating blunt pedestrian information, they depict surreal personal narratives that provoke and invite investigation.” In addition to the Sign Trees, the exhibition will include five single “sign” paintings mounted on industrial armatures, as well as three large “studio view” paintings on linen.
Sign Trees represents an evolution of the artist’s 2014 project Signs, a large-scale public installation of abstract street signs commissioned by the New York City Department of Transportation. Soon after the work was installed, each of the fifty signs was stolen.
Influenced by the skate and surf culture of his native Virginia Beach, and educated in graphic design and art theory, Ryan McGinness has developed a diverse practice that translates the symbolic language of mass culture into the arena of contemporary art, proposing his universal iconography for our information age. His often dense pictographic style is riddled with thoughtful contradictions, at once familiar and illegible, structured and chaotic, seductive and subversive. McGinness moves seamlessly between traditional media like painting and more experimental projects like art-fueled parties, immersive installations, and consumer goods. All are part of a conceptual practice in which he critically embodies an artistic identity that responds to the contemporary moment.
Ryan McGinness received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He has exhibited extensively throughout the world, with major solo exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art; the Cincinnati Art Museum; Pace Prints, NY and Deitch Projects, NY. He has been the subject of seventeen books, most recently an Artist Book titled “Everything is Everywhere” by Frame Publishers. McGinness’ work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the Charles Saatchi Collection, and many others.