White Walls is pleased to present “Signs, Fines, & Cheap Wines,” the new solo show of Barcelona-based artist Max Rippon aka Ripo. “Signs, Fines & Cheap Wines,” will be Ripo’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. and will feature 25 new works, varying in size from 19×28” to 7’x7’. The opening reception will be Thursday, August 9th, from 7-11pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through September 1st, 2012.
Heavily influenced by sign painting, Ripo creates text-based work with an urban aesthetic, exploring single words and short turns of phrase with a tongue-in-cheek sensibility. Elaborately-drawn fonts, formed with watercolor, ink, graphite, sign painters enamel and oil pastels on delicate handcut paper, allow us to appreciate the aesthetics of the words regardless of their associations.
Fifteen works on paper showcase the malleable shape and form of typography with an energy that feels palpable and dynamic. Using techniques of calligraphy and layering, Ripo crafts letters that appear to jut and curve outside of the page in swift, fluid motion. Bleeding colors and splashes of paint burst beyond the constraints of the page, rendered in incredibly fine detail.
This attention to detail carries over to the artist’s large-scale works, as well. Working with wood, metal, glass, stone and plastic, Ripo replicates the variety of textures he encounters while painting outside, incorporating them as a main visual element. By painting only the negative space of the compositions in white enamel, the natural materials are allowed to play an active role in composing the letters and texts. With a nod to the assemblage art of Rauschenberg, broken mirrors, old signs, scrap metal and other found objects are recontextualized in the work and original tiles from the sidewalks and streets of Barcelona bring an iconic image and texture of the city to San Francisco.
“Signs, Fines & Cheap Wines” by Max Rippon aka Ripo
Opening Reception – Thursday, August 9th, 7-11 pm
On View Through September 1st, 2012
White Walls Gallery
835 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA