Ryan DaWalt and Vanessa Navarrete: Cut Up
April 29 - May 29, 2016


The history of collage traces the fundamental ironies of late capitalism, for while its cuts and juxtapositions rend and reshape older ideologies, it remains a mirror of the larger forces of economic fragmentation that are cutting up and restructuring a global world.[1]

Simuvac Projects is proud to present the two person exhibition Cut Up, featuring the "cut-ups" of Brooklyn based artist Ryan DaWalt and the collages of Chicago based artist Vanessa Navarrete.  Collage, which Gregory L. Ulmer called, “the single most revolutionary formal innovation in artistic representation to occur in [the 20th] century,”[2] is still widely practiced today, but have the motivations behind the practice changed?  Cut Up pairs two contemporary painters who briefly turned to collage as a vehicle to build upon their existing practices.


L: Ryan Dawalt, Brushstroke #2, 2015, hand-painted stainless steel granules cast in magnetic fields to linen,
cut up, and collaged on board, 24"x18"
R: Vanessa Navarrete, Sails, 2013, Oil and paper collage on panel, 12"x9"


DaWalt’s methodical painting process involves attaching hand painted stainless steel granules to linen with use of two different types of magnets.  One magnet allows for parallel lines, which DaWalt refers to as corduroy, and the other allows for a swirling effect, which he refers to as frosty.  While making his cut-ups, DaWalt forgoes the use of readymade images and instead turns to fragments of his own paintings that he cuts into organic, geometric, and linear shapes.  The organic shapes, he states, “are roughly based on enlarged studies of stainless steel granules in charged frosty formations,” and “the linear collage elements illustrate diagrammatically, the force of the magnetic fields on the granules.” “These works," DaWalt states, “allowed me to further explore the relationship of part to whole in the way the granules are held together by creative force.”  While methodical, the gestural aspect of his process allows for an expressive use of line and color as seen in Sonic Color (2015), for which DaWalt drapes a grouping of blue, purple, and dark red lines across a white and black background, and in Brushstroke #2 (2015), where the pink and red frosted charges appear to statically dance around the edges of the organic forms that have been cut and pasted onto the picture plane. 

For Navarrete, painting is an intuitive act that she describes as “unraveling a mystery through the process of action and reaction to whatever materials I happen to be employing at the moment.”  She views collage as a challenge that allows her to “juxtapose decontextualized imagery with paint,” and states, “I like the danger involved for myself in the process.  Collaging is far less forgiving than oil.”  Navarrete assembles her collages quickly before playing off of the images with paint.  While the size is most often small-scale, what appears on the picture plane varies with each piece.  For Lark, she uses collage to build a setting of vertiginous staircases.  The uneven horizontal lines of each step emerge from the darkened background, slowly reaching across the canvas until interrupted by a thick and jarringly bright layer of paint that curls off of its support.  With Sails, Navarrete pastes recognizable items such as clothes and linens, allowing some to dissolve into organic shapes that hover in the background while violently masking others with vigorous slashes of paint, and with Exile, she deconstructs classical and natural forms, stripping them of their meaning, orientation, and function with a simpler arrangement of cut images and strokes of oil that marry its parts into the image, no longer fragmented but made whole.  

Ryan DaWalt received his BFA in painting at Indiana State University and his MFA in painting at Ohio University.  DaWalt has exhibited widely, recently in shows at Storefront Ten Eyck, Lorimoto Gallery, and Centotto, all in New York. His work was recently featured in the Adirondack Review (Spring 2016).

Vanessa Navarrete received her BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Navarrete has exhibited widely, including solo shows at Hardcore Art Contemporary in Miami, and Metaphor Contemporary in Brooklyn.  Her work has been commissioned for many private and corporate collections and is included in the Ralph Burnet Collection at the Chambers Luxury Art Hotel.

For more information contact Joseph A. Gross at Joseph@simuvacprojects.com 


       [1] David Banash, Collage Culture: Readymades, Meaning, and the Age of Consumption (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2013), 26.
      [2]  Gregory L. Ulmer, “The Object of Post-Criticism,” in The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture edited by Hal Foster (New York: The New Press, 1998), 94.