n the project room, Portland-based artist Ryan Boyle continues his darkly humorous exploration of the architecture of production, comsumption and disgorgement with a new installation of drawings and paper sculptures.
The Portland-based artist is self-taught not counting a short stint at the San Francisco Art Institute. His art can seem whimsical at first glance but there is a grimness and seriousness of purpose underneath. The drawings can be free and childlike or compulsive and repetitive. His sculptures, architectural and toy-like, are marked by a tight, meticulous handling of humble materials--paper, tape, pins, thread, buttons, glue—and make humorous reference to a by-gone industrial age. Time in general, in Boyle's work, is in parentheses. He often draws on soiled, torn, antique papers that make the work difficult to date, and through careful manipulation of found patterns from things like antique sheet-music covers he constructs a world in which the factories of the thirties are seen through the psychedelia of the seventies.
Many of these architectural sculptures are made to produce and collect garbage and sludge and then disgorge them. Reference is made to the oil and sanitation industries but in many cases it seems that the artist's concerns with digestion and expulsion are more spiritual than political. They burn with honesty and we feel the artist's personal investment. One wall of the installation is defined by a combination of drawings and sculptures that echo a cruciform suggesting perhaps that Boyle is using his gifts for alchemy to try to purge and purify himself and return to a state of grace.
Boyle has shown at various west coast galleries including Elizabeth Leach, Portland, Sam Francis Gallery, Santa Monica, and Powell's Books, Portland.