THE CONFOUNDING VARIABLE // Ryan Fontaine // 5.25.18
ON FRIDAY JUNE 29th at 7:00pm, please join us for a conversation between writer/educator/curator Sheila Dickinson and the artist, Ryan Fontaine. There will be an opportunity for audience questions and discussion.
In The Confounding Variable, his second solo show at HAIRandNAILS, Ryan Fontaine brings a collection of 14 new paintings and two new kinetic sculptures. The work is wide-ranging in source material, medium and production strategy, often treading unexpected terrain. Three-dimensional wall hangings more akin to sculpture share close quarters with traditional oils and surprising assemblage. Industrial resins sit next to and on top of rustic textiles, metal and wood. The surfaces are in turn breached and pristine. But in all of this disorienting variety, there is a cohesive voice that asserts itself. In the end it may not provide an easy narrative, but it all, somehow, makes sense.
Ryan Fontaine is an artist, musician, and curator working in a wide range of media with a focus on painting and sculpture. His early years were spent crisscrossing the country touring with a series of art punk bands before finally settling in Minneapolis in 2000. In 2001 he started the first of a series of underground performance/music venues — Mala Zimetbaum’s Center for the Future Development of Troubled Youth or MALA’s. While remaining active in the MPLS underground music community as a performer, he also lived and helped run The Church and helped to found Medusa, two important venues that while no longer existent, left their indelible mark on music/performance in the Twin Cities. With a couple of art shows already under his belt, his 2007 two-person show at Art of This marked a shift to an almost exclusive focus on the visual. He has also continued to make new spaces, now in the form of art galleries rather than performance spaces. These include the Temporary Autonomous Museum of Contemporary Art — a two-month pop-up gallery in conjunction with Bockley Gallery, Oval Headly (Portland), and now HAIR+NAILS.