THE SLEEP OF REASON
installation, sculpture, ceramic
are laid bare in Ryan McClelland’s sick visual taxidermy
of modern life. McClelland presents everyday scenes of low-culture
in his cool, stark images of the Zeitgeist. Allowing the subject
to choose the proper medium, the artist shows himself equally
comfortable and capable in installation, sculpture, ceramic
and print. In respect to the latter, what initially strikes
the viewer is the pure physicality of the artwork, which occupies
a scale more akin to painting than precious print making, although
he uses traditional linoblock techniques. A myriad of stylistic
and ideological contradictions present themselves, intending
to deride the notion of the fine arts as being the exclusive
purveyor of good taste. McClelland’s work exudes a punky
nihilism and he employs a consciously “primitive”
approach to his practice.
references, appearing in powerful scenes of degradation, show
branded characters frolicking and fighting in retail parks and
night clubs, desperately trying to transgress the nightmare
of their existence. McClelland opts for what he describes as
a “Zombified” means of production, subverting the
language of decorative arts into his own ridiculous Frankenstein
creations. He uses equal amounts of irony and sincerity to paint
his own romantically bleak pictures of society.
living dead return to a shopping mall, the sun sets upon its
tarmac as wide-eyed kidults come out to play. Frolicking in
the shadows of neon lights, they act out their own ersatz rock
‘n’ roll fantasies, where reality and fiction collide
in chemically fuelled narratives of faux decadence.
ceramic sculptures and installations are monuments to the vulgarity
of the western consumer society. The flotsam and jetsam of our
urban experiences are piled high in complex sculptures and objects
of decadence while ephemera are incongruously juxtaposed, creating
tensions between the notions of trash and treasures. His unique
brand of bastardized craft stands apart from the current state
of sculpture. McClelland’s work is slick craftwork injected
with ironic wit. You are seduced by its luster and glaze, but
soon recognize the detritus used to create these totemic trophies
to low-brow culture.
graduated from Goldsmiths College in 2002 and gained an MA in
Fine Art Printmaking from the Royal College of Art in 2007.
He has exhibited internationally since 2002. Recent exhibitions
include The New Radicals, Galleri Sigma, Sweden (2002), Domesticity,
The Victoria & Albert Museum (2005), New News From Nowhere,
William Morris Museum (2006), Pinocchio Related, Hockney Gallery
London & Venice Academia (2006) and Urban Monsters, Boston
information about Ryna McClelland please contact David Harris
the Forster Gallery: www.forstergallery.com.