In the project room, Ryan Boyle will exhibit recent sculptures and drawings. The enigmatic young artist from Portland makes small, minutely-detailed architectural objects that resemble plastic, wood and metal but are hand-cut and formed entirely from paper. They are quirky and charming and the craftsmanship is off the charts. Early models exploited vintage sheet music covers and a futuristic factory aesthetic to play with age and time. The new works explore sand paper, wood, roofing rocks and colored sand. The personal and the political, specifically the politics of the environment and waste, intermingle in strange and pleasing ways. A sense of time and meditation pervade the work, due not just to the prevalence of sand, but to the many long hours the artist puts in to resolve them. If a super-compulsive toy train hobbyist spent most of his waking hours watching psychedelic cartoons, this is the kind of thing he might turn out.
Two of the works, Mallangong 1 and 2, are named for a duck-like creature with an ancient genetic heritage. Industrial towers with plastic tubes connecting them to the branches of an old tree, they form a miniature world in which the division between technology and nature is bridged, the cycle of life flowing back and forth the way that it did in the past and might once again in the future. Boyle named the work thinking about how we often name machines after animals. A third work, Escherian Sand Castle, is a fantasy citadel based on dreams of complex geometry and far away places. The show draws its title from the resemblance of the sandpaper in this sculpture to concrete and from the illegible forms in Boyle's repetitive drawings that look like tiny architectural units as much as letters from an undiscovered alphabet.