Jonathan Ryan: Earthbound

5118 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Sep 18, 11 AM - 6 PM — ends Oct 30, 2021
Jonathan Ryan Earthbound OPENING SEPTEMBER 18, 2021

The Landing is pleased to present Earthbound, a solo exhibition of new works by Los Angeles-based painter Jonathan Ryan.

Earthbound marks Jonathan Ryan’s third exhibition with the gallery. Its paintings draw upon forms that are prevalent in Ryan’s body of work — architectural shapes seen from above that bring to mind the structures and stepped walls of ancient cities, made from oil paint and layered sand — but in a new way. Here, built forms are abstracted. A wall might seem to undulate, or might curl into itself; the functionality of a wall takes a back seat to the joy of playing with architectural pieces. The playfulness of form is matched by a playfulness of palette; the sand-included structures that in the past may have been earthy in tone are now lime green, violet, cerulean, poppy, aqua. The shapes of the structures themselves have grown loose, flowing, organic — with a palpable quality of aliveness. Throughout, the viewer is invited into the joy of sharp color, the joy of form for form’s sake: the joy of pure making.

It is the presence of the sand itself that keeps each painting grounded; even when fantastically colored, it keeps returning the viewer to a sense of real earth. The sand incorporated into each structure is multi-layered, and often rocky; even the solid-colored ground each building rises from is sometimes sand-included. The admixture of the sand’s actual texture and the trompe I’oeil effect of Ryan’s masterful shading and shadow-work creates surfaces of continual interest, continual engagement.

Throughout Earthbound, surfaces that seem to rise, forms that seem to move, the aliveness of electric color, the joy of abstracted shape, and a consistent intrigue speak of the playfulness of pure creation. There is the joy of looking, and also the whiff of the pleasure of the building of the works themselves. One feels the joy of making, gazing at the made, as if it, too, is a function of each work.

Jonathan Ryan
Chevron (Indigo), 2021
Oil and sand on canvas
40" x 42"

On view at the Landing, September 18 - October 30, 2021