Third Person

Art Life , Exhibitions Aug 17, 2015 No Comments

From Sharne Wolff

Artist Ryan Hoffman is a self-confessed image hoarder. Sourced mainly from the Internet, Hoffmann’s stored pictures grow into a stockpile of readymade ideas that might be later adapted in his painterly style. In Third Person, his first solo exhibition, thirty new paintings cover a broad range of themes. A salon-style group of accidental landscapes and portraits, random houses and views from car windows somewhat resembles the grid view on Instagram. And while the Gallery bills Hoffmann’s show as “post-Instagram painting” (a cute new term with nil results on Google) Hoffmann uses social media as fodder without the intention of appropriating Richard Prince-style. Instead, by retaining only significant detail his paintings talk to their source (or its reproduction) – sometimes even incorporating defects and blemishes –but challenge the realism and crowded content of the original.


Hoffman’s ‘less not more’ approach to editing with the brush often results in a painting that’s slightly sketchy and ambiguous but still sure of what the artist wants it to do. What’s still uncertain is the identity of the third person. Whether as participant (The Path 2) or voyeur (CR), from behind the wheel (New Dawn Fades) or a lens (Untitled), there’s an implied character in these paintings – is it the viewer or the artist?

Until September 5
Liverpool Street Gallery, East Sydney
Pic: Ryan Hoffmann The Path 2, 2015, oil on polyester canvas, 113 x 147cm. Courtesy the artist and Liverpool Street Gallery.

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Sharne Wolff

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