Ryan Sullivan

One of the artists featured in Vitamin P3, a new perspective on painting, is an American artist who was born in 1983 in New York. Ryan Sullivan applies massive amounts of oil paint, latex, enamel and other paint products, including spray-paint to canvas or paper.  He doesn’t bother with titles all that much, many of his paintings are named by the start and end date of their creation.   Photos on the internet don’t really show how thick the finished painting surface is.  

I went through a period several years back where I was experimenting with just how much paint and texture paste I could apply to a canvas support before it ‘failed’. I am fascinated with texture in paintings and this work truly resonates with me. Sullivan has perfected his technique and created imposing, powerful pieces that appear almost primeval, as though they have emerged from the very foundations of our earth. I wish I could view these works up close, this entire process fascinates me!

RYAN SULLIVAN Untitled 2014 Latex, acrylic and lacquer on paper
RYAN SULLIVAN September 1 2009 to February 11, 2010
Oil, latex on canvas

Other examples:

The most illustrative images I found that show the scale of Sullivan’s paintings were on the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami’s website:

Image on front page of ICA website
RYAN SULLIVAN – Installation view at ICA
RYAN SULLIVAN – installation view at ICA

A current group exhibition is underway at the moment up until March 2020 called ‘En Plein Air’, where Sullivan is exhibiting paintings that he describes as ‘legible’ in the article I read (credit below)

RYAN SULLIVAN Blue painting 2018 and Red Painting 2018 in the background at the En Plein Air exhibition at the High Line public park in New York

From the High Line website: Sullivan has installed four paintings, placed perpendicular to the park, with each painting in a pair, back-to-back to one another. These are Sullivan’s first works made specifically for outdoors. As a test, Sullivan left one painting to brave the humidity, precipitation, and extreme cold of the Adirondacks for a year. It survived, and he’s hopeful for a similar result for his paintings on the High Line.


Accessed on 17/02/2020

Accessed 18/02/2020

Phaidon Editors, (2019) Vitamin P3  – new perspectives in painting p.296,297


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