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Apple with Honeycomb on Silver Plate (+ exhibition details)

This honeycomb was a beautiful gift from our same neighbors who gave me the eggs in my recent Still Life with Copper Bowl and Three Eggs (Homage to Chardin, 1732). #gifts #grateful Follow this link to see some of my still life paintings that were inspired by the generosity of others. If you enjoy this painting, you may also like to see some of my other paintings of silver items.

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Current Exhibition Details
(in press release format)

abbey ryan: the light / the shade
Arcadia University
Harrison Gallery, University Commons 
April 16 – June 16, 2018

A gallery talk by the artist will be held on April 19, 2018 in the Harrison Gallery beginning at 4:00 PM with a reception to follow.

GLENSIDE, Pa. — Arcadia University’s Art Research Collaboration (ARC) Exhibition Program is pleased to present “abbey ryan: the light / the shade,” an exhibition of recent paintings on display from April 16 through June 16, 2018 in the Harrison Gallery on the first level of the University Commons.

For Ryan, an associate professor at Arcadia and 2003 alumna of the University recognized for her daily practice of painting, this exhibition of 14 landscapes and still lifes in oil on linen represents the culmination of a 2017 research excursion to the Greek island of Patmos. This remote destination, known for its pure light, harsh terrain, and lack of shade, served as the longtime home of the American poet Robert Lax (1915-2000), whose singular form of minimalist poetry and seemingly solitary existence inspired Ryan to start the light / the shade series in 2012.

Executed either during Ryan’s travels, or inspired by her related research, these post-card sized images depict native fish and fruit as well as island views, some reflected in or framed by windows and doors. Acute to the paradoxes of illumination and rendered in an economical but expressive hand, the paintings are presented alongside passages from Lax’s book-length poem the light / the shade (1989) set in grey type adhered to walls painted deep blue. Distinguished by their vertical format in which each line is comprised of a single syllable, these short texts parse language into its elemental components to explore contrasts regarding light and time, seeing and being. They are simultaneously abstract and descriptive, visual and verbal. The resulting connections established between these meditative paintings and poems are further supported by a network of personal and historic associations.

Ryan’s research was undertaken as Arcadia’s first recipient of the Dr. Norman Johnston Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences awarded by Arcadia University to encourage talented and dedicated faculty members to excel in research in the humanities and social sciences and to share their scholarship with the University community. Dr. Johnston’s work on the evolution of prison architecture, specifically his study of monastic life as a model for solitary confinement, also informed Ryan’s project.

On April 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM, Ryan will give a talk in the exhibition space which will encompass the creation of the paintings in the show, her experiences on Patmos, as well as elaborating further on her views concerning the connections between Lax’s writings, Johnston’s research, and her own artistic practice. A reception will follow immediately afterwards in the Harrison Gallery.

The exhibition and the lecture are free and open to the public.

“abbey ryan: the light / the shade” was curated by Matthew Borgen and was made possible by a donation from Theresa and John Rollins. For more information about the exhibition, please contact the ARC Exhibition Program at (215) 5172629 or

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 12:00 to 4:00 PM.

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