Abbey Ryan is on the leading edge of a movement of artists working in classical painting,
while staying true to a contemporary perspective.
American (b. 1979)
Abbey Ryan grew up near the beach in central New Jersey. In her early 20s, Abbey studied with David A. Leffel at the Art Students League of New York, and this experience, combined with her painting travels to Italy, France, The Netherlands, Greece, Cuba, Spain, South Korea, Brazil, Chile, and the UK, continues to have a great impact on her work. Abbey completed undergraduate work in both science and art at Arcadia University and post-graduate work at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her MFA in Painting from Hunter College/CUNY in 2007. In her classical still life and trompe l’oeil painting, Abbey is interested in women’s voices in realism, the Golden Ratio, Robert Lax’s poetry, the Japanese aesthetic “wabi sabi”, and Dutch Golden Age painting. Through her blog, Abbey’s work is in over sixteen hundred private, public, and museum collections on six continents. Her larger works are represented by Mason Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; Sugarlift Gallery, New York, NY; and Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor, ME. Abbey’s paintings have been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine; Seth Godin’s “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?”; Artists and Illustrators, American Art Collector, Plein Air magazine, and Fine Art Connoisseur. She lives and works in Philadelphia.
Subtle, Sensitive Oil Paintings
“An authentic oil painter… Ryan’s works are not purely representational, but reflect the natural movement of light and contain expressive gesture — a condition of her love for the medium of oil and an attempt to avoid the madness of hyper-realism… She treats her daily practice of painting as an opportunity to center and focus. She brings to her work a meditative perspective that translates through her hand. By bringing herself to that central point of mind, Ryan presents a kind of reality that is sensitive and sentimental… Ryan works diligently to capture the subjective moment of light, that feeling the second the light crosses your eyes. She works this magic into landscapes and still lifes… She is a monk of the moment, a student of the impossible and fleeting and a creator of beauty.”
~JAIMESON RILING, Olean Times Herald
Abbey Ryan Still-Life Show Stuns with Attention to Detail
“…It would be a mistake to assume that the seeming simplicity of Ryan’s subject matter and the way she titles each small painting results in a work that is simplistic – or anything less than meticulously created, with an eye finely honed to capture detail and beauty….The visitor to Ryan’s current exhibit will likely be floored by her attention to detail. Ryan excels at portraying reality so perfectly that it seems beyond perfect, hyper-beautiful. Additionally, her use of dark backgrounds behind her subjects and dark wooden frames for her paintings serves to focus the viewer’s attention on her stunningly constructed subject matter. Ryan’s use of dark backgrounds and frames is also a nod to the 17th century Dutch still-life painters she studied in Europe when she was an art student.
Still Life with Black Raspberries, Three Figs, and Humboldt Fog and Still Life with Jug, Cicada, Grapes, and Hazelnuts are not-to-be-missed examples of Ryan at her finest. Her horizontal arrangement of the raspberries, figs, and cheese in the first painting, and the jug, grapes, and hazelnuts — with the playful addition of a cicada in front of the shiny jug – in the second calls attention to each element in the painting. A more traditional “bunching” of the still-life elements would not have the same effect.”
~CHRISTINE LA PADO-BREGLIA, The Lincoln County News
The Most Exquisite Still Life Paintings You Will Ever See
“Philadelphia artist Abbey Ryan makes some of the most exquisite still life paintings you will ever see. Her background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in both fine art and medicine, a combination that would have been understood and appreciated by such great Renaissance artists as Leonardo and Michelangelo. Ryan applies the discipline of science to her art, finding that painting daily provides her with the calm and focus necessary to make the small, gemlike still life and trompe l’oeil paintings she favors. But to say that Ryan accesses her scientific background to create her paintings is not to mean that her creations are sterile or boring. Look closely at a Ryan pear, for example, and you will see the world in a single piece of fruit: round, sensuous, gently blushed perfection. Or look at her peanut butter and jelly sandwich and understand the pure joy of biting into that nutty, creamy, salty, sweetness. Ryan’s remarkable skill as an artist has not gone unnoticed. Her paintings have been featured in many books and magazines, notably Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, O. A very active user of social media, Ryan’s blog has been viewed by over a million visitors from more than 100 countries.”
~MARTY GLEASON, Boothbay Register
Abbey Ryan Studio