Ryan Mrozowski: Open, Other, End at On Stellar Rays

The American artist, Ryan Mrozowski is currently enjoying his first solo exhibition at New York’s Rivington Street-based gallery, On Stellar Rays. Though working in a variety of mediums, the artist is known primarily for his painting, bringing acrylic and oil stick to a range of surfaces—linen, paper, wood and pages of books—and exploring the human tendency for pattern hunting. 

Mrozowski’s patterns work in two ways. The first, highlights our desire to find order and categorisation in the natural world. The simply titled Untitled (Orange) presents rows of sun-drenched oranges placed within leaves. Despite the unsymmetrical ordering of the leaves, you cannot help but spot the perfect placement of these glowing orange rounds. The line between natural and ordered is adeptly toed here, remove the leaves and shadows and you might be looking at a classic spot painting but, with leaves overlapping and casting shadow on the oranges, there is a sense of the uncontrived, of a symmetry that frames the natural world, the natural world then slipping in and adding its own sense of chaos.

But, these paintings also point back in on themselves, serving to highlight not just the need we have for pattern hunting, but also the vast history of pattern forming in modern painting. They offer an awkward conglomeration of painting types, representative meeting with pattern-making in a manner which does not quite fit with either. Are these about form or context? They go some way in summing up the state that painting finds itself in at this moment in time, where its form and purpose are somewhat undecided. In these works the structure of the pattern underpins their very being, so perhaps the surrounding, descriptive lines are an unneeded extra.

Taking this sense of visual surplus, Mrozowski chooses to revel in all that this medium is, using rich colours and visible brushstrokes that truly celebrate the painted form.

Ryan Mrozowski: Open, Other, End is showing at On Stellar Rays until December 13

Untitled (Orange), 2015 Acrylic on linen 50 by 56 inches (127 by 142.2 cm)
Untitled (Bird drawing), 2015 Oil stick on paper 32-5/8 by 25-1/8 inches (81.3 by 63.5 cm)
Dot, 2015 Inlaid plywood and stain 34 by 40 inches (86.4 by 101.6 cm)
Installation View
Installation View

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