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artist's statement

My work merges painting and sculpture, narration and abstraction, real and surreal. Featured is a myriad of found, reclaimed and recycled objects that evoke a sense of history and mirth. The palette ranges from the magical to the mundane.


I embrace discarded and transformed wood and metal objects, as well as fabrics, old trims and ephemera, acrylic paints and gels, oil stick, and washes, inks and glazes. I cut, rip, nail, glue, screw, burn, hammer, pulverize, kick and curse my materials. But, I can’t stop hoarding and cherishing them.


Constructions draw on imagery both medieval and modern. Surfaces are crafted in an overlaid fashion, suggesting ambiguous and illusionistic spaces. The realized pieces celebrate the textures, colors and compositions peculiar to found, cannibalized and re-codified objects.

For the most part, I focus on process, investigation and experimentation. This allows me to work in an unedited fashion exploring the expressive properties of the materials. It could also easily interface with what I might be cooking or reading or listening to at a given time.


These are instinctual pieces with rich, dense surfaces. They speak of architecture, time, texture, imaginary environments, the architecture of the mind, and the relationship of one material to another.


Weaving disparate objects into a unified composition is the challenge, the passion, and the appeal.


A graduate of Tufts U. /Museum School (MFA), Mass. College of Art (BFA), and B.U. (BA), A.E. Ryan has been involved in the Boston arts community for almost four decades. 


In 2007, she was a Fulbright Scholar and the first Artist-in-Residence for the Ministry of Education of St. Kitts & Nevis. She has been a fellow at the Blue Mountain Arts Center (N.Y.), Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojacar, Spain, and the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts (Greece), an Artist-in-Residence at the Ishuakara Studio in Oaxaca (Mexico) and is a past recipient of the Blanche E. Colman Foundation grant as well as many small grants from local arts councils, including: Cambridge, Brookline, and Wellesley. The book, Art Revolution: Alternative Approaches for Fine Artists and Illustrators (Lisa Cyr) features a chapter on A.E. Ryan’s work.


Ryan has participated in numerous invitational and juried shows in New England and New York, and has had solo shows at: Galatea Fine Art (Boston), HallSpace Gallery (Boston), the Art Complex Museum ( Duxbury, MA), Trustman Gallery (Boston), and M.I.T.’s Dean’s Gallery.  Her site-specific installation Myth of Affordable Housing, was situated on the grounds of the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park  (2001-2002) in Lincoln, MA.  She was also an active member of Reclamation Artists for 14 years. In the past, she has been part of the studio faculty of MassArt and the SMFA, as well as doing numerous Artist-in Residence assignments through the Mass. Cultural Council.  

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