Anne Ryan is a contemporary artist who creates highly coloured constructed paintings of figures. Her subjects dance, party, pose and generally indulge themselves, in scenarios that draw on diverse sources from visual culture and the world around her.
For Earthly Delites, Ryan created a new installation occupying Hasting Contemporary’s main ground floor gallery space. Taking inspiration from Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden Of Earthly Delights, Ryan curated a ‘pleasure garden’ of work from throughout her career that invited visitors to wander around and get lost in her work.
Ryan is renowned for her ‘cutouts’ – virbant, three-dimensional paintings made from card, collage, canvas, ceramic and metal. Many of her cutouts focus on the physicality of the human form – often depicting groups of figures dancing, posing, swimming, frolicking in the woods, even cutting loose in a mosh pit – and are inspired as much by scenes found in nightclubs and cinema as by classical painting and sculpture.
Ryan has said about the cutouts: “I love the freedom they give me. Suddenly you’re not tied to the four walls of a canvas … It’s almost like not painting. I say to my students: stop painting and then let’s paint. And it’s that idea that we stop assuming what we know about painting and then let’s do something, OK? Let’s make then. And that’s when I’m really engaged with.”
Born in Limerick, Ireland, Anne Ryan studied at Limerick School of Art and Birmingham University and was Abbey Fellow in Painting at the British School at Rome in 2016. She has taught at a number of leading UK art schools, including Turps, and has exhibited work at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, CAPC Bordeaux and Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt. Anne lives and works in London and is represented by greengrassi.
Main image: Anne Ryan, Disco Legs, 2018, acrylic on card cutout. © The Artist.