Who Is Ryan McGuinness and Why Is He Suddenly Everywhere in L.A.?


Having a single show at a blue chip art gallery in L.A. like Michael Kohn is a major career accomplishment. Having SEVEN concurrent exhibits is practically unheard of. Yet New York-based artist Ryan McGuiness is doing just that with a month-long multi-venue celebration. With a show of his paintings at Michael Kohn, his works on paper at Country Club Projects’ new Sunset Blvd digs, and his sculpture at Prism, you can’t swing the proverbial cat without hitting one of his works. 

While those galleries exhibit his exubertantly colorful pieces that often merge digital techniques with more traditional crafts like silk screening, painting and collage, McGuinness is also stepping out of the conventional gallery space for his L.A. invasion.

Ryan McGinness, Installationview, 2005, installation view, mixed media, dimensions variable, Deitch Projects, New York

McGuinness is hosting a less conventional lecture and BBQ at Giant Robot on Friday May 27th. The slideshow presentation will be based on his forthcoming book, Sketchbook Selections, 2000-2011. And Giant Robot will be grilling in the parking lot between GR Eats and GR2 on Sawtelle Blvd.

Ryan McGinness, Worlds within Worlds (Detail), 2003, mirror maze installation, vinyl on glass mirrors,
Deitch Projects, New York

And for art lovers hoping for a little more live nudity, the Standard Hotel and Country Club Projects have you covered there too. The third and final installment of Women: The Blacklight Paintings will take place at the Standard Hotel’s West Hollywood location on May 29th. The installation features paintings and pole dancers and will also introduce the new Blacklight Nudie Cards, ” the world’s first fully fluorescent playing cards that glow under blacklights.” (I know some frat boys who would have loved that in college). 

Ryan McGinness, Untitled (Oceanscape) (Detail), 2008, acrylic on wood panel. 48 x 96 in.

The Standard Hotel is also hosting McGuinness murals at both the West Hollywood and Downtown hotels. The glass vitrine at the Weho location (right behind check in) is also going to be featuring Drawing Sessions, where McGuinness will draw his models for three nights within the glass tomb, ending with a pool party on June 4th.

Last, if you’re not completely drunk on Guinness (ha!) by then, Subliminal Projects hosts The SponsorshipREDUX project. Eight years after creating an exhibit at BLK/MRKT Gallery in Los Angeles of corporate sponsors’ logos placed on gallery walls according to their level of sponsorship for the exhibition, McGuinness again plans to explore the same themes. This incarnation will feature a new twist – McGinness will deconstruct the corporate sponsors’ logos and
use the parts to compose a series of four paintings and two print editions.

The full list of McGuinness-mania is here.

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