Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard is pleased to announce its two solo exhibition of paintings by David Ryan and Yek. These two artists, key figures of the Pop Abstraction from Las Vegas (Yek currently lives in Singapore) create pure abstract paintings with strong immediate visual impact and presence produced by rhythmical and dynamic compositions, bright colors and space. However the two artists seek their inspiration in popular culture and everyday life experience.
David Ryan’s bas-relief paintings, composed of superimposed layers of monochrome surfaces with rounded contours are visually identifiable creations. The artist transcribes a two-dimensional sketch into three or four superimposed laser cutout panels. Ryan’s work is that of a painter as well as of a sculptor and architect. The visual effects are created by the interplay of superimposed curves, by what is shown or concealed, by the colors squeezed in between two panels, and by the play of light and shadow created by volume. In some new works David Ryan will mix MDF and a new material, Corafoam, a high-density urethane commonly used as insulation. Corafoam is as easy to cut as fiberboard but much lighter. We also discover new sized works. Most of them are much smaller than his older works. They are precisely cut, compact, and very punchy. At the same time Ryan develops impressive larger scale paintings that are more complex and rich. David Ryan gives himself the means of developing his work and this exhibition shows that is “diabolically beautiful wall-relief is sculpture at its space–saving best: Bold enough to fill the whole room with its powerful pleasures yet compact enough to hang over the sofa” (1).
In this third one-man-show in Europe, Yek brings us a wholly new kind of work. The exhibition is composed of six small horizontal paintings, each no bigger than two feet in length. These very colorful and exquisite new paintings are a development from a public space project of a large triptych painting (320 x 460 inches) installed in a new subway station in Singapore. The paintings are configured using cinema screen formats inspired by large West American landscapes. Yek’s colors fade from top to bottom, or from right to left, mimicking actual living landscape. What remains a signature element Yek’s work is the artist’s radiant color palette - a perfect balance between the synthetic culture of the Las Vegas strip and the exuberant Chinese pop culture from Singapore. These new paintings also have the feeling of being backlit by a fast, almost familiar, eternal light that seems to allude to natural color, but is more akin to computer monitors, television screens, or dashboard glow. Diagrams of various white lines or colored lines cross the colored spaces right through and give a unique rhythmic sense of movement like a musical partition or fugitive blurry pictures of dancers on a stage. Having given up on the « size wars » in contemporary art, as he names it, Yek drives the expressive force of painting to an extreme in his small formats. Implicitly, he introduces a whole new scale of values to the market.
In 2008 David Ryan was part of « Phenomenon: New Perspectives in Painting » in Dubai and « Diaspora: The Emergence of Contemporary from The Neon Homeland » in Laguna Art Museum, at Laguna Beach, CA.
Yek’s work has recently been acquired by the Albright Knox Art Gallery and he has exhibited in museums and galleries in New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and Paris and Graz.
(1) David Pagel : « A material change pays off », Los Angeles Times, Friday, August 1, 2008 E13