Play It As It Lays
DIMENSIONS 7 x 5 x 1.5 in MEDIUM Oil on panel, 2020
Signed by the artist en verso
ABOUT THE WORK
In Ryan Steadman’s latest series of life-sized book paintings, the artist explores the hidden language of early 20th-century illustration through an array of luminous colors and painterly marks. By eliminating the text from a range of world-famous novels and publishing houses, Steadman allows the viewer to embrace how just a few deft marks can summarize the multitude of richly nuanced emotions these timeless stories evoke. Working as readily on the wall as they do a shelf or plinth, Steadman’s faux books remind us of the words that have changed our society’s collective outlook while reintroducing us to the ingenious and oft-overlooked illustrators who also contributed to forming our culture.
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