Flowers and Crymes at Studio 2091

Lack of Articulation: Ryan Flowers

Ryan Flowers, Hope (Photo Credit: Peggy Honeydew)

Ryan Flowers developed a personal relationship with plastic soldiers at a very young age. At Christmas, he would use the boxes of his new toys to make hideouts and forts for them, to the chagrin of his parents. Flowers felt these little guys got a bad rap, by which they gained his favor. They always fell to the bottom of the toy box and you had to dig through all the toys to the bottom through the Legos to find them.

Ryan Flowers, Untitled (little), detail, photo by Peggy Honeydew

In Flowers’ Lack of Articulation at Studio 2091, he has given depth to the tragedy to his childhood friends. Flowers meticulously constructed small-scale compositions of army men and found objects depicting a series of complicated feelings. Most of the pieces sit on small white sconces. Two rest on old pieces of architecture, and one hangs nailed to the wall. Flowers included a jeweler’s magnifying glass with several, providing access to the intricate details in his altered army men and the conversations between these characters.

Fyan Flowers, Untitled (big), photo by Peggy Honeydew

Flower’s piece, Big, Untitled, was four years, on and off, in the making. From a distance, the artwork reads sizeable green-khaki cresting wave. Closer observation reveals hundreds of toy soldiers obsessively crowded into the wave form. Flowers said he removed the feet of each little soldier and secured each them into the foam core center. There is much activity in this the wave, including conversations between the soldiers creating additional stories within the story.

Ryan Flowers, Dating Issues, photo by Peggy Honeydew

Dating Issues is a single large soldier standing with the left foot and hand forward with flowers in his outstretched hand. His right knee is bent, shifting his weight to the back, and his right hand is extended behind. Your eye starts with the flower, down the line of his arms to the grenade in his right hand, in a launching position. Flowers admitted a slight autobiographical element running through these pieces that that humorously document his life and relationship discord.


Rock Hall Rejects & 12 Suburban Nudes: John E Crymes

John E. Crymes, Naked Housework

John E. Crymes has two bodies of work displayed in the back hallway and back gallery. In the back hallway is his Rock Hall Rejects. Crymes said this body of work began to emerge following a Rock and Roll Induction ceremony. Crymes questioned why there wasn’t a place to celebrate the rejects. In the back gallery is Crymes’ 12 Suburban Nudes.

John E. Crymes, Lifesized cut-out of Mark Mothersbaugh

Crymes’ Rock Hall Rejects include both a portrait of Mark Mothersbaugh and a Lifesize Cut-out of him. Mothersbaugh is the older brother of Studio 2091 gallery owner, Amy Mothersbaugh and frontman for the ground-breaking band, Devo. The portrait Crymes painted of Mothersbaugh comes with the musician’s autograph on the left of the painting. His list of rejects includes Tangerine Dream, The Cramps, King Crimson, Brian Eno, Philadelphia, and Cave’ to name a few.

John E. Crymes, Nude at the Gymnasium

The back gallery is a surround sound of nudes with a suspended box hanging in the center. Walking in is like walking into a crowd that is circling, watching, and discussing the nude in the center. The centerpiece, Shower 6, is a multisided composition created to be interactive: spin the nude. The surrounding paintings vary from 6 feet to 8 inches in height, filling the wall space with exciting shapes and colors.

Crymes, a graduate of Penn State, paints on wood with acrylic and mixed media. He uses an additive and subtractive process, going back in and scratching through paint layers creating texture and depth. His painting style is subtle with whispers of reality. “Reality is for photos,” he said. There is a surreal quality to his paintings; a bit like Francis Bacon, without the anxiety and alienation, with Henri Matisse’s color palette. His use of nonrepresentational colors and abstracted shapes and body parts create enjoyable compositions. Crymes is a prolific artist with a steady churn new work and reworked pieces. He is also a resident artist at Studio 2091 with studio space in the gallery.

Lack of Articulation: Ryan Flowers. 
Rock Hall Rejects & 12 Suburban Nudes: John E Crymes
September 14 – October 7


Studio 2091

2091 Front Street

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. 44221

The opinions expressed on CAN Blog are those of the individual writers. Art is somewhat subjective. Well, somewhat. But yes, everybody's a critic.

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