Richard Heller Gallery
HomeArtistsExhibitionsContact Us


Ryan Foster


Ryan Foster is interested in spirituality, the passing of time, transcendence, and how we interact with the intangible. Using curtains and creased backdrops is an attempt to paint a mystery, something that is invisible, hidden, and pervasive. Similar to a photo shoot or theatrical play, a stage is set, a curtain hung, and the show begins. However, within this imaginary world once the show starts the backdrop isn’t raised. The drama takes place in front of the curtain on a narrow slice of stage and the actors and viewers are left waiting and wondering as the anticipation of the unveiling builds.

Like the sky, the curtains change mimicking times of day and various seasons: a quilt becomes a sunset, a trash bag becomes nighttime, a white tablecloth imitates winter. The curtains evolve, shift, tangle, collide, crease and tear. Eventually, even the original paintings are absorbed into the curtain, becoming the backdrop for the next painting - a painting within a painting. To achieve this, the original painting is photographed, that photograph is printed, that print is manipulated by tearing and creasing then the marred print is rephotographed before the painting process begins anew. Like a memory, the original image is pushed towards the background while making room for more. The older information becomes faded and blurry. Details are lost as things slide, warp and shift. The characters become ghosts as they are brushed over with less specificity becoming blurry and abstracted versions of their former selves.

Things get complicated when this process is repeated over and over. You are left with a painting within a painting within a painting ad infinitum. This process is similar to an extremely crude animation with thousands of frames missing in between. Characters stand alongside former versions of themselves. Multiple horizons confuse what is tangible and what isn’t. Representational subjects morph into abstractions of shape, value and color. Repeat this process several times over and you will get an odd assemblage of histories, memories, ghosts, and multiple horizons on a single canvas. Like comparing an old photograph to a new one, it is the ominous passing of time and a foreboding since of change that makes looking at both images (on the same canvas) more interesting.

Photo credit: Mary Catherine Fehr



Born
Born 1984
Lives and works in Birmingham, AL

Education
2011  
MFA, Painting/Printmaking - University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

2006  
BFA, Painting/Printmaking - University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL

2001-2002
Apprenticeship with Jerri Ford Carter

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016
Hard Sky, Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2015
A Mirror and a Door, Bloch Hall Gallery, Montevallo, AL

2013      
Emotional Landscapes, Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2012        
Emotional Landscapes, Ruach Gallery, Clearwater, FL

2009      
New Work, Centre Gallery, Tampa, FL

2006      
Advertising Space Available, Bloch Hall Gallery, Montevallo, AL

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015
Seen, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

2014
Artprize, DeVos Place Convention Center, Grand Rapids, MI
Dirty Minds: Life on Earth, bG Bleicher/Gorman, Santa Monica, CA

2013    
The Armory Show, Richard Heller Gallery, New York, NY
Rejuvenate, F.I.R.E. Art Studio and Gallery, Naperville, IL

2012
Miami Project, Richard Heller Gallery, Miami, FL

2011    
Starting Fires, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL
Bluff Park Juried Art Show, Bluff Park, AL
Elements, Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa, FL
Seven Days, The Hub, Tampa, FL
Montevallo Arts Council Show, Parnell Memorial Library, Montevallo, AL
USF 35th Annual Student Art Exhibition, Centre Gallery, Tampa, FL

2010    
Ybor Arts Juried Show, Ybor Art Center, Tampa, FL
Mission As Art, The Hub, Tampa, FL
Day One, William & Nancy Oliver Gallery, Tampa FL
So You Think You Can Paint, Centre Gallery, Tampa, FL
USF 34th Annual Student Art Exhibition, Centre Gallery, Tampa, FL

2009    
MFAO Group Exhibition, Centre Gallery, Tampa, FL

2008    
What You Get for Your Money, Centre Gallery, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Poseur Show, Oliver Gallery, Tampa, FL
FLOCAS, Traveling Exhibition, University of Florida, Florida State University, and University South Florida

2007    
New Work Exhibition, Bloch Hall Gallery, Montevallo, AL
National Conference of Undergraduate Research Show, Dominican University Gallery, San Rafael, CA
University of Oregon Print Exchange, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

2006    
Prints with a Purpose, Juried Show, Montgomery Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
Art for a Purpose, AmSouth Bank, Birmingham, AL

2005    
Montevallo Big Prints, Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham, AL
A Winter Show, Forbes House Gallery, Montevallo, AL
Art for a Purpose, AmSouth Bank, Birmingham, AL

Selected Bibliography

2013  
The Armory Show Catalog Centennial Edition

New American Paintings Blog, Highlights from the 2013 Armory Show, Andrew Katz, March 11th

The Fine Art Post, Ryan Foster at The Armory New York Show, March 7th

The Hobokenista Blog, Highlights from the Armory, March 10

Huffingtonpost, Arts and Culture, Bill Bush, A Place Where You Are Not Alone, February 18th

Juxtapoz, Ryan Foster “Emotional Landscapes” at Richard Heller Gallery, February 13th  

Artweek.LA, Vol. 113, February 18th issue

2012  
Artslant, Artslant Worldwide.com

Faith is Torment, www.faithistorment.com

2011  
New American Paintings #94 Southern Edition, The Open Studio Press, Boston, MA

The Oracle, Causal-Data, Victoria, Tampa, FL

Creative Loafing, Lopez, Mayrisia, Tampa, FL

Awards
AWARDS/FELLOWSHIPS/GRANTS

2014
University of Montevallo Summer Travel Grant

2011      
Second Place, Presidential Award, Bluff Park Juried Show, Bluff Park, AL

2010    
First Place, Best in Show Award, Ybor Arts Juried Show, Tampa, FL
First Place, Best in Show Award, So You Think You Can Paint, Centre Gallery, Tampa, FL
Viewers' Choice Award, So You Think You Can Paint, Centre Gallery, Tampa, FL

2009    
Travel Grant, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

2008    
William and Nancy Oliver Fellowship, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Travel Grant, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  
2006    
Travel Grant, National Conference of Undergraduate Research in San Rafael, CA
Martha Allen Memorial Scholarship, University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL

2005
Overall Excellence in Printmaking Award, University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL

2004    
Overall Excellence in Drawing Award, University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL

2003    
Virginia Barnes Emerging Artist Scholarship, University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL

 


RICHARD HELLER GALLERY    phone:  310-453-9191   |   email:  art@richardhellergallery.com