FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EMERGE: RECENT VCU MFA CANDIDATES AND GRADUATES AT THE PAGE BOND GALLERY, THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 2017.
Page Bond Gallery is pleased to present Emerge: Recent VCU MFA Candidates and Undergradates featuring work by Walker Atkinson, Roxana Azar, Sarah Coote, Jessica Cruz, Magdolene Dykstra, Isa Newby Gagarin, Lauren Hensens, William Lenard, Michael Royce, Riccardo Ruiz, Tyler Shebelski, and Ryan Syrell opening Thursday, June 8, 6 to 8 PM. The exhibitions will run June 8 to July 7, 2017.
Ryan Syrell is a painter and recent VCUArts MFA graduate based in Baltimore, Maryland. His work has been exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in Richmond, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and Boston and most recently at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Recent paintings focus “on intimacy, space, and perception” and “take the mundane, lived spaces of domestic interiors as their subjects.” In these works, the ordered geometry of domestic objects, furniture, and window panes; rugs and wooden floors; and papers, paintings, and computer screens are punctuated by green plants and organic designs. Bright, Matisse-like color and a painterly process heighten the abstraction, while tilted perspectives, articulated outlines, and layered forms flatten the space and blur the divide between art and reality. Painted from observation and memory, Syrell’s paintings “dismantle[e] the presuppositions of sight” with forms that oscillate between the real and the abstract.
Intense spectrums of color and abstract patchworks of form also characterize Isa Newby Gagarin’s recent works. Born in Guam, Gagarin is currently a MFA candidate living and working in Richmond. Her work has been exhibited extensively in Minneapolis and featured in group shows in Amsterdam, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In reference to her first name, which means rainbow, and her surname, with its association to the first man in space, Gagarin is inspired by the light and color of the universe. Working with drawing, painting, and photosensitive methods, her process is “intuitive and improvisational” and begins with research into subjects like the solar corona and rainbows. These references are manifest in luminous color field paintings. Color blocks partially eclipse the hues below to form new chromatic combinations, suggesting at once her initial sources of reference and an abstract design. Like Syrell, Gagarin plays with viewers’ perception of the worlds of nature and design.