Alison Jacques

Ryan Mosley

27 Feb - 11 Apr 2009

© Ryan Mosley
Half Man Half Doughnut (The Resurrection), 2009
Oil on canvas
214 x 275 cms / 84 1/4 x 108 1/4 ins

27 February – 11 April 2009
Opening Thursday 26 February, 6-8pm

Project Room

Mosley transposes the sixteenth-century classical Italian theatrical form of the commedia dell'arte into a painted realm inhabited by the ghosts of Goya, Guston, Ensor and the masked grotesques of Tiepolo. ... Mosley blends the absurd with the disturbing, the pictorial with the theatrical and the protean with the prosaic. Good art changes the way one looks at the world, and Mosley's work, at its best, has the ability to repopulate our world with a burlesque line-up of a troupe of beings from an alternate reality which points up the absurdity and peculiarities of our own.
(Richard Dyer, Art Review, 2008)

Alison Jacques Gallery is pleased to announce Ryan Mosley’s first solo presentation at the gallery. Half Man Half Doughnut – The Resurrection is one of Mosley’s most recent works and will be exhibited in the project room as the first in a new series of presentations, each of which will be supplemented by a printed interview and a talk by the artist.
This large-scale painting comes from a new body of work which casts a band of characters – acrobats, musicians, snake-charmers – in a circus of sorts. Mosley’s alchemy vivifies inanimate objects with human qualities and, in this case, his process of anthropomorphism transforms a doughnut into a ringmaster. This character is poised in a precarious balancing act with snakes, balloons and a surreal scattering of heads on legs. These monopods have a legacy that can be traced back to the 13th century and a myth propagated by European explorers claiming that the inhabitants of the Asiatic region did not have bodies like their occidental counterparts. Other renditions can be found in stone carvings on Gothic cathedrals and in the 15th century Nuremberg Chronicle and more recent literary appearances include Umberto Eco’s Baudolino. Like folk tales, these imaginary creatures have evolved as their descriptions are passed on from one story-teller to the next.
Mosley’s compositions are replete with such folkloric subject matter, which is contextualised with recognisable art historical traditions, from Arcimboldo's composite portraits to the story-telling traditions of Brueghel and 17th Dutch genre painting. There is an ambiguous tone in Mosley’s paintings which are imbued with a carnivalesque revelry, a dark humour and grotesque disfigurements which seem to speak to the surreal workings of the psyche. Gathering weird, hybrid beings together, like a Victorian curiosity show with body parts pickled in jars, Mosley’s paintings illustrate a bizarre, even sinister, ethnography.
Ryan Mosley (Born 1980, Chesterfield, UK) lives and works in London. Mosley graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2007. Forthcoming exhibitions in 2009 include the Saatchi Gallery exhibition Newspeak at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg (group show) and the Jerwood Contemporary Painters Prize at The Jerwood Space London (touring). In 2008 Mosley had a solo exhibition with Engholm Engelhorn, Vienna and was included in Moravia at Cell Project Space, London and The Painting Room at Transition Gallery, London. Mosley was selected for the Celeste Art Prize Exhibition in 2007 and in the same year exhibited at IBID Projects in Summer School.

Tuesday 17 March, 7pm: Artist’S Talk By Ryan Mosley

Tags: Ryan Mosley