Bryan Ryley: Sum of Destructions
November 7, 2009 to January 10, 2010
This exhibition features a suite of ten works on paper and a related large painting that local artist Bryan Ryley produced in 2004, inspired by a reproduction of a drawing by Picasso. The Picasso work was one of the numerous studies he produced in preparation for his famous 1937 painting Guernica, which was a political protest against the bombing of the Spanish village of Guernica by the Franco regime. The village was apparently considered to have been a stronghold of the Spanish Republican resistance, but contained mainly women and children at the time. The image in the drawing, is of a fist gripping the handle of a shattered sword. Ryley traced the reproduction of the drawing scanned this, then output it onto the large sheets of drawing paper, on which he worked with paint and collage to create these finished works. Ryley takes his title from a famous quotation of Picasso referring to his own working methods. Like Picasso, he also explores the themes of violence and war in these works, in which the mark-making that would appear abstract is often personally symbolic to the artist.