Ratio 3 is pleased to present Racecar in Reverse, a solo exhibition of new artworks by New York-based artist Ryan Mrozowski. Featuring paintings from several related yet distinct bodies of work, the exhibition showcases the artist’s understated and conceptually rigorous approach to image-making. Taking natural forms—flowers, fruit, birds—as their subjects, Mrozowski’s paintings deconstruct and distort familiar motifs from art-historical traditions of still life painting, calling attention to the active role of viewership and inviting interrogation into unexpectedly profound aspects of perception.
Mrozowski’s paintings often present ambiguous, sometimes contradictory, visual information. Each composition from the ongoing body of artworks, Untitled (Shifted Flowers), depicts an array of flowers transposed over itself. The resulting double-images seem almost to vibrate, as if the paintings were derived from a transitional moment between frames of a film. By constructing paintings that do not easily resolve into fixed images, Mrozowski draws attention to the active role of viewership and the inherent subjectivity of interpreting even a straightforward image.
In another series of paintings, Mrozowski overlays each leaf or flower in a composition of dense foliage with a painted letterform, prompting a relationship between two seemingly distinct systems of information. For a viewer, reconciling written language with pictorial composition becomes an act of balancing the impulses to literally read the paintings and to intuitively interpret the underlying image.
Working primarily with acrylic paint, Mrozowski renders images that are convincingly legible, yet far from lifelike. By foregoing granular detail and occasionally providing paradoxical visual cues, Mrozowski’s images achieve a characteristic balance of depiction and abstraction. Like the title of the exhibition they comprise, Mrozowski’s paintings offer a playful intrigue similar to that of wordplay; they are clever and analytical, evoking what might be read as the visual equivalent of a palindrome, while also calling attention to—and simultaneously undoing—the symmetry they contain.
Ryan Mrozowski earned his MFA from the Pratt Institute in 2005, and his BFA from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2003. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions internationally, most recently at Galerie Nordenhake in Mexico City (2021), Stockholm (2020), and Berlin (2018), Chapter NY in New York (2019), Simon Lee Gallery in London (2018), and Hannah Hoffman Gallery in Los Angeles (2017). This is his first solo exhibition with Ratio 3.