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Ryan Schneider "Split Spirits"

May 30, 2020 / June 28, 2020

Open by appointment only.


Over the Influence is pleased to present “Split Spirits”, the inaugural exhibition of new sculptural works by Joshua Tree-based artist Ryan Schneider. The exhibition will include new carved wooden sculptures charred and painted in oil stick. The upcoming exhibition will be alongside three other solo presentations by Nicasio Fernandez, Austin Harris, and Aaron Johnson.

For the first time, Ryan Schneider will present a new series of wooden sculptures carved with a chainsaw, charred, and painted in high-contrast oil pigment. Over his past 15-year career, Schneider’s emphasis in finding “surprise and joy” in the making of each new piece has translated from the canvas to sculptures which are spontaneously and instinctually formed. His saturated color palette favors high-contrast colors such as near-fluorescent pinks and oranges that pop against straight-from-the-tube radiant hues. His latest works of hand-carved wood are dreamy and richly colored, often featuring a spiritually charged, even shamanic quality. In critic and writer Trinie Dalton’s words, Schneider’s works seek to embody the “true spiritual legacy of Southern California’s Mojave Desert as a place of “rediscovery”—a place where various peoples and cultures dating at least ten thousand years back have found refuge, healing, and solace.” 

The new works are imbued in the spirit of nature and the desert in which he resides. His process is a mixture of physical effort and instinct – the wood is slashed at and brutalized with a chainsaw, then burned, sanded, and oiled or painted. Schneider understands himself as the steward of the form, allowing it the material to guide his hand and determine the final outcome. For him the act of creation is in the movement of his body resulting in an exchange of energy from one form into another. 

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