Ryan Conrad Sawyer
June 4—June 22, 2014
James Fuentes is excited to announce Ryan Conrad Sawyer’s upcoming solo exhibition at the gallery.
Since 2000 the United States has become the primary source for scrap metal whose exportation to developing nations tripled in recent years. Accordingly, there has been a sharp rise in the larceny of copper used in newly abandoned real estate. Individuals risk their lives ripping the electrified metal from behind the drywall, exposing a trace of the buildings’ electrical system in the empty cavities left behind.
For Ryan Conrad Sawyer’s first solo show in New York, he will be committing this action within the gallery by removing all copper from the interior walls in order to sell the material as scrap metal. Leaving the gallery without power for the duration of the exhibition, this action disrupts the white cube’s “sanctity” by leaving open wounds of drywall and brick that outline the building’s electrical skeleton. A portrait of intense pathos, the gallery exhibits a sublime void, unfilled with artwork and left debilitated. In conversation with previous architectural interventionists, Sawyer’s gesture bleeds into the performative via his sale of the “stolen” metal. Meanwhile the psychophysical space that remains engages a dialogue that’s both paradoxically vulnerable and aggressive.
Ryan Conrad Sawyer was born in 1983 in Smithfield, Virginia and lives and works in Richmond, Virginia. Sawyers received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions including: Home Again, Again II, the Journal Gallery, Great Expectations, Jericho Ditch, Isle of Wight, VA, Eli Manning, REFERENCE Gallery, Richmond, VA, as well as an upcoming solo show Brand New Gallery, Milan, IT.