STOCKHOLM.- Ridley Howard's third solo-exhibition at the gallery presents his most recent work intimate, small-scale paintings, carefully staging an interplay between portraiture, scene painting, abstraction, and design. The new work ranges from the non-representational to the mise-en-scène, and embraces both painting and cinematic aesthetics.
Ridley Howard experiments with how the elemental forces of painting, colour, shape and design coalesce into something with emotional resonance. In the small canvases on display in the exhibition, figurative and abstract elements play off and cross-reference each other in colour and form. The works incorporate the vernacular of vastly different genres of painting; among them high renaissance, pop art, American figurative painting, geometric abstraction and with hints to poster design. Subtle and deceptively straightforward, the paintings invoke a sense of monumentality while retaining a lingering intimacy and stillness.
Howard paints with exquisite care, imbuing his works with a lingering sense of time, of moments that are captured but not frozen. With allusions to photography and cinematographic cropping, emphasis is placed on the framing of each motif. Windows, abstract shapes, architecture, and screens open to other realities, where flatness and vastness are entangled. There is also a play with scale in his work, where canvases range from monumental to miniature in size, further complicating the artists depiction of intimacy, where tightly cropped compositions, often leave out details that would direct the viewers sense of narrative.
Shorelines, the first publication covering the works of Howard, was published earlier this year and is available at the gallery.
Ridley Howard (1973, USA) earned his MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 1999 and his BFA from the University of Georgia in 1996. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2000. His work has been exhibited at numerous institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; The Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA; the National Academy Museum, New York; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; and the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN. Howard has been the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and he received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Painting at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2020. He currently lives and works in Athens, GA, USA.