Art News: Laura Ball & Ryan McLennan at David B. Smith Gallery

27 Jan

New Works by Laura Ball and Ryan McLennan at David B. Smith Gallery opens January 28th, with the opening reception at 7pm – 10pm, with both artists will be in attendance, and runs through February 26, 2011.

Laura Ball – Tree of Life

Ryan McLennan – Purification

These two creative artists explore the struggles of human existence through animal imagery, which represent parallels to both the natural world and the world of the subconscious. While McLennan creates scenes which parallel the natural world, using a cast of North American mammals and birds to explore brief lessons in ecology, natural history, and evolution, Ball devises a world of internal dreams and monsters, defining the shadows that hold us back from healthy progression in our daily lives.

Both Ball and McLennan tend to contrast their images against a stark, white background, inviting the viewer to delve more deeply into the meaning behind the image. While McLennan gravitates to acrylic and graphite while utilizing a subtle pallet of browns and golds, Ball uses watercolor to create softer but equally complex forms or more intense hues. While their aesthetic is similar, their styles and content are strikingly different – but each explores an examination of consciousness while capturing the struggles with which they are intrigued; whether it is the survival of the environment, or the survival of the human psyche. Both artists have received extensive national recognition, prestigious awards and grants.

An essay by Leanne Haase Goebel will accompany the exhibition.

Laura Ball – Growing Pains

Laura Ball – Wild Rider

Laura Ball – Display

Ryan McLennan – The Clairvoyant

Ryan McLennan – The Witch

Ryan McLennan – The Cleanse

About the artists:

Laura Ball received her MFA in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught at the University of California. She has received several awards and grants and has exhibited in galleries across the United States. Her work is in numerous important private and public collections. Laura currently lives and works in California

Ryan McLennan received a BFA from the Painting and Printmaking Department of Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002. Since then he has exhibited work in Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Richmond, Virginia. He is a recipient of the 2008/2009 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship and was the 2010 recipient of the West Prize, Grand Prize. Ryan currently lives and works in New York.

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