Ryan Crotty’s unconventional images employ compositions that spread out beyond the edges of the canvas, resulting in process-intensive paintings that investigate formal relationships of color and material. Crotty’s work highlights visual evidence of the canvas support structure, surface imperfections, and materiality through his use of translucent paint. His unique layering technique generates a striking interplay of light and color that challenges visual interpretation of a two-dimensional surface.
Crotty is most known for primary colors that blend together to create secondary and tertiary color field paintings with luminous reflective surfaces that glow with meditative calm. Some works appear to glow and could be mistaken for lightboxes. However, they reveal their true form at their canvas’s edges, which Crotty leaves bare except for the rivulets of paint that collect over the course of their making. The artist continually experiments with the materiality of paint, repurposing plexiglass sheets as squeegees to spread pigments, and coaxing tonal interactions that bewilder the eye.
Crotty earned a BFA in painting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a MFA in painting from Syracuse University. His work has been featured in gallery exhibitions internationally, the NADA art fair New York, and select institutional shows including the Museum of Nebraska Art, University of Nebraska (Kearney, NE) and the Eisentrager-Howard Art Gallery, University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE). Crotty has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Design Milk and the Washington Post among others.