Ryan Estep - Under the Influence London Tuesday, December 9, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Thierry Goldberg, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born in 1980, Ryan Estep’s unconventional approach to art began on a whim in his father’s Michigan garage, where he was drawn to the physicality of art production. Here, Estep explored the relationship between manual labour and the notion of “value,” largely relying on materials which recalled the vernacular of the construction site rather than the artist’s studio. After moving to New York after art school Estep worked in the city’s Chelsea district as a construction worker and art handler. Since 2007 the artist has drawn on these early experiences, working with materials ranging from drywall mud and sawdust to lactic acid and dirt. Admittedly obsessed with “examining the phenomenon of touch,” Estep aims to create a sort of “tactile vertigo” for the viewer in which his materials act as mediators (Ryan Estep, ArtVetting, 2013). Through this intense concentration on the capacity of each raw medium, Estep highlights the subtle nuances in his own artistic process.
    The artist has been known to establish strict guidelines for each of his series, lending a ritualistic element to his practice. In his “Re-Stretched” series, Estep un-stretches and re-stretches the painted canvas, subtly subverting the rigid geometry into a delicately unbalanced composition. In the re-stretching of No. 1, Estep has deliberately loosened sections of the two canvases, creating faint hints of form and shadow in the pure field of black pigment. The artist underscores the subversive potential of touch, physically dismantling the original post-minimalist form and reconstructing it anew to create a conceptually charged totem.

    “In the strict context of art, I don’t believe in abstraction, but I do have faith in it.” Ryan Estep, 2013
    “There is a villainous anxiety that pairs with each idea, it’s a need to purge and calm that sensation which pushes the work outward.” (Ryan Estep, Conceptual Fine Arts, 2013)


No. 1 from the series Re-Stretched Black & White

acrylic on canvas
142.8 x 101.8 cm (56 1/4 x 40 1/8 in.)

£6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for £11,875

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Head of Under the Influence
+44 207 318 4065

Under the Influence

London Auction 10 December 2014 2pm