Ryan McGinness








“I’m trying to communicate complex and poetic concepts with a cold, graphic, and authoritative visual vocabulary. I concentrate on shape, line, color, and composition to communicate within simplified picture planes. As such, the work resides somewhere between abstraction and representation.

At the essence of our being is the need to know and the need to understand. I am interested in our need to read into and interpret—to make sense of chaos and give meaning to seemingly abstract forms. This interpretation involves an egocentric faith in the fact that there must be a meaning for us to understand. We surrender our logic to the belief that answers do indeed exist, and so, by default, we invent them. With my work, interpretations are not absolute, but guided, to allow for multiple reads. This allows the viewer to bring to the work his own history, memories, and knowledge to find a personalized meaning.”
— Ryan McGinness, 2005

Ryan McGinness’s work consists of an amalgam of icons and symbols. Drawing from his background in the design industry, Ryan McGinness’s work resolves the clinical graphic aesthetics of media as vast, contemplative fields of intimate meditation. It incorporates strong social commentary on iconography, language, and historical and contemporary symbolism. His graphic drawings and personal iconography are replicated, recontextualized, and materialized infinitely throughout his densely layered paintings.

Born and raised in the surf and skate culture of Virginia Beach, Virginia, McGinness moved on to study at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as an Andrew Carnegie Scholar. During college, he worked at the Andy Warhol Museum as a curatorial assistant, which inevitably influenced his proclivity toward pop and graphic aestheticism. Known for his original extensive vocabulary of graphic drawings that use the visual language of public signage, corporate logos, and contemporary iconography, McGinness creates paintings, sculptures, and environments and fabricate the iconography of contemporary experience as spiritual and timeless.

McGinness’s work can be found in such art institutions as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Cincinnati Art Museum, and private and corporation collections including the Neuberger Berman Collection, the Schwab Family Collection, and the Charles Saatchi Collection. 

Carnegie Mellon University, BFA 

Curatorial Assistant, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA 

Press Play & Record at the Same Time, Pace Prints, New York, NY, May 2-June 7
Everything Is Everywhere, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, April 5-May 10
Art History Is Not Linear (Boijmans),Vous Etes Ici, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, April 4-May 10
Ryan McGinness: Studio Visit, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, January 25-October 19

Finding Infinity, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA,  October 9-November 16, 2013
Women & Mindscapes, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland, March 15-April 7
Women: New (Re)Presentations, 
Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA,  September 15-November 3
Gering & López Gallery & Charles Bank Gallery, New York, NY
Women: Sketches & Solutions & Women: Blacklight Paintings & Sculptures, May 3-June 30
Pace Primitive, New York, NY, Geometric Primitives, March 30-May 5 
Units of Meaning, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO, June 22-July 22

Trophies, Prism Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, May 26-July 16
Works on Paper, Country Club, Los Angeles, CA,  May 21-July 2
Recent Paintings, Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, May 19-July 1
Color Oblicuo, Espai Cultural Caja Madrid, Madrid, Spain, January 26-March 27
Black Holes, Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, NY, January 1-March 8

Tuoreita Tondi, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
Studio Franchise, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain

Ryan McGinness Works, Deitch Projects, New York, USA  
Mindscapes & Blackholes, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO

Aesthetic Comfort, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH 
Traveled to: Artcore/Fabrice Marcolini, Toronto, Canada 
A Shadow Feeling of Loss, Paolo Curti/Annamaria Gambuzzi and Co., Milan, Italy A

Varied Editions , Pace Prints, New York, NY, USA 
Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA, A Rich Fantasy Life, April 7-May 12

Never Odd Or Even, Galeria Moriarty, Madrid, Spain 
Traveled to: Vous Etes Ici, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
Paolo Curti/Annamaria Gambuzzi and Co., Milan, Italy 
Gas, Grass, or Ass (Nobody Rides for Free), Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, East Hampton, NY, USA 
Mildly Subversive, Montserrat College of Art Gallery, Beverly

New Paintings, Danziger Projects, New York, USA 
Installationview, Deitch Projects, New York, USA 
The Burden of Keeping it Real, André Simoens Gallery, Knokke-Zoute, Belgium 
Pain-Free Kittens, Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA

Multiverse, Galerie du Jour, Paris, France 
Living Signs, Galeria Moriarty, Madrid, Spain

Worlds within Worlds, Deitch Projects, New York, USA 
Sponsorship, Black Market Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

This Dream Is So Life-Like, Gas Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 
Products Are The New Art, Printed Matter, New York, USA 
Dream Garden, Deitch Projects, New York, USA 
Sign Language Stux Gallery Project Room, New York, USA

Is the Theory of Everything, Parco Gallery, Tokyo, Japan  
Sign Age, Galerie de Miguel, Munich, Germany 
Pieceofmind, Colette, Paris, France 
Vocabularytest, Joseph Silvestro Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Shtick, Houston Gallery, Seattle, WA  
Luxurygood, Alife, New York, USA

Flatnessisgod, Zakka, New York, USA

Networking Is a Skill, Chaos, New York, USA

No Sweat, Manhattan Athletic Club, New York, USA

Slow Children Playing, Mad River Post, New York, USA

Factory Direct, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, June 24-September 9
Montclair Art Museum, Montclaire, NJ,
Modern and Contemprary Art from Private Collections, February 12-June 17


Masters of Reality, Gering & López Gallery, New York, November 3-December 23
Nose Job, Eric Firestone Gallery, July 15-August 22
Litos Grafera, Art Centre Silkeborg Bad, Denmark, January 8-April 25
Litos Grafera, Museum of Stavanger, Norway, May 26-September 11


Contemporary Magic, National Arts Club,  November 4-30


Monumental Drawing, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, San Antonio, TX, April 5-June 17


Graphic Content, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH, December 7-February 26, 2007
Art on Paper 2006, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC, November 12-January 21, 2007
The World Is Round, Public Art Fund, MetroTech, Brooklyn, NY, October 27-September 9, 2007
USA Today, Royal Academy of Arts, The Saatchi Gallery, London, England, October 6-November 4
Spank the Monkey, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England, September 27-January 7, 2007
Since 2000: Printmaking Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, May 3-September 18
The Garden Party, Deitch Projects, New York, NY, March 9-April 29


Greater New York 2005, P.S.1/Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, March 13-September 22


Will Boys Be Boys? Questioning Adolescent Masculinity in Contemporary Art
Organized by Independent Curators International, Curated by Shamim Momin, 2004-2006:
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Largo, FL
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO
Salina Art Center, Salina, KS
Creative Time, New York, NY, The Dreamland Artists Club, Coney Island, June 12-September 6
Beautiful Losers, Curated by Aaron Rose & Christian Strike, 2004-2008
La Casa Encendida Museum, Madrid, Spain
Arhus Kunstbygning, Denmark
Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland
Le Tri Postal, Lille, France
Palazzo dell’Arte, Milan, Italy
USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL
Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Yerba Buena Arts Center, San Francisco, CA
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
Les Abattoirs Museum, Toulouse, France, La Collection d’Art Contemporain d’Agnès B., April 9-June 13
MassArt, Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery, Boston, MA, Earthly Delights, January 28-March 17


A New New York Scene, Galerie du Jour, Paris, France
Lead Poisoning, New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA
Nother Start Video Screening, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan


SK8 on The Wall, Gallery Rocket, Tokyo Japan
Session The Bowl, Deitch Projects, New York, NY


Spunky, Exit Art, New York, NY


Critic as Grist, White Box, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Stamford, CT
Interior Spaces in Contemporary Art