Paul Ryan has had a huge year – 3 solo shows across Australia with Nanda Hobbs, Edwina Corlette and James Makin galleries as well as work being shown with all three at Sydney Contemporary. He has exhibited his work in over 20 solo shows.
He’s won numerous art prizes and has been shortlisted many times – 13 times in the Archibald Prize – and on two occasions he achieved the rare distinction of being a finalist in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes in the Art Gallery of NSW in the one year.
His work is characterised by the liberal application of paint, mainly with a palette knife, producing stunning portraits, figures and landscapes.
Ryan lives and works in Thirroul, a coastal oasis south of Sydney, where his paintings share space with his surfboards. It’s this landscape, with the backdrop of a dramatic escarpment, that Paul paints time and time again, often through the lens of Australian colonial history which has been inspired by literature and music.
This subject has not been without controversy, however. In 2010 his show ‘No Country for Dreaming’ was briefly shut down after negative reactions within some parts of the aboriginal community and he talks about that in this episode.
Ryan also talks movingly about his adoption as a child and how that’s impacted his life and art. He also gives many insights into his process and techniques.
A short video of Paul Ryan in his studio will be posted on the Talking with Painters Youtube channel soon.
- Solo show at Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane, February 2018
Links to things and people we talk about on the show
- Paul Ryan at Nanda Hobbs Contemporary
- Paul Ryan at Edwina Corlette Gallery
- Paul Ryan at James Makin Gallery
- Paul Ryan on Instagram
- Elisabeth Cummings
- The Commonwealth of Thieves by Thomas Keneally
- Wanting by Richard Flanagan
- Tony Albert
- Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
- Noah Taylor
- Adam Cullen
- Bill Callahan
- Vivid Sydney
- Ashley Frost
- Richard Tognetti
- Jon Frank