6 July - 1 August 2018
In March 2017, Ryan Hoffmann introduced his circular concave moulded paintings with the highly successful ‘Air’exhibition. 16 months later, we are seeing a maturing of this now signature style. Hoffmann’s dish shaped paintings are samples of the sky. His paintings attempt to capture the shade of the sky from a specific place and moment in time.
Ryan Hoffmann is a modern painter working in a world full of photography - a subject that the artist delved into deeply as a student. There is a theatrical and cinematic quality in Hoffmann’s work, the sublime nature of his work is akin to epic sky and sunset scenes in the 1939 film ‘Gone with the Wind’. But this desire to capture ‘light’ is not a new one. Claude Monet (b. 1840) famously painted the Rouen Cathedral 30 times in a similar composition but in different effects of light. He was trying to capture the fleeting effects of light. Monet’s paintings were meant to be seen together. In 1895, he exhibited 20 paintings from the series. Likewise, Hoffmann gives us an array of paintings showing a multitude of tonalities of the sky.
Vivid colours and the dynamic scale define the new works in ‘Drift’. In the past Hoffmann’s colour was concentrated at the centre of the painting and radiated outward, now, especially with the smaller works, we see the pigment pushed around the elliptical form. The effect is immediate and dramatic. The moulded paintings begin to take on illusionistic qualities, crescent moons form on the concave shape. The illusionary surface flips the image from concave to convex before our eyes. We also begin to see art references emerge. In the new works we can see; the mottled patina of fruit in Cezanne’s still life, The ‘target’ motif of Jasper Johns and grand swirling gradients of colour like William Turner’s storms paintings.
In this exhibition ‘Drift’, Ryan Hoffmann has enriched and expanded his unique vision. He has pushed the boundaries of his previous work, the result is stunning.