Joakim Ojanen and Ryan Travis Christian Exhibition

The Hole

poster for Joakim Ojanen and Ryan Travis Christian Exhibition
[Image: Joakim Ojanen "Small Bee Hat” (2017) glazed stoneware, 16 x 12 x 12 in.]

This event has ended.

The Hole presents a two-person exhibition of Swedish artist Joakim Ojanen and Chicago-based artist Ryan Travis Christian. The front of the gallery will feature a selection of fifteen new drawings by Christian and the rear zone nine new ceramic sculptures by Ojanen.

In his first major showing in New York, Ojanen installs a custom bench on which nine ceramic heads are displayed. Though ranging only from 1-2ft in height, these heads are intense and evocative, with fully particularized characters and features. Though not a student of ceramics, Ojanen found he readily could make in three dimensions the comic characters he had been painting and drawing. Their large gourd-like heads might have dog ears, duck bills, black eyes or tiny hats; they share a nervous vibe and a pastel palette.

Ryan Travis Christian exhibits small 10-inch wide graphite on paper drawings that have a vintage animation feel. Their marked-off edges, simple hatched backgrounds and sepia-looking tone suggested early cartoon cells; the characters that appear seem from the “Steamboat Willie” era of animation, though their depictions often contain contemporary elements. Many of the works are about art making and show painters or drawers at work.

Though not traditionally media that are paired together, these small pencil drawings and large ceramic heads make an interesting couple in the exhibition. Attention to characterization and emotion are fine-tuned in both but a self-reflexive awareness of art making makes both these vintage-looking approaches feel fresh.



from May 25, 2017 to July 02, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-05-25 from 18:00 to 21:00

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