With oils laid in such thick layers as to become sculptural, Ryan Hewett’s figures project beyond the pictureplane and into our space, confronting the viewer with an arresting energy and charisma. While the artist pre- dominantly paints faces, his work operates beyond and beside portraiture, seeking to achieve more than simple resemblance. Rather, Hewett undertakes an engagement with subjectivity that is played out on the very surface of the canvas and through the materiality and movement of the paint itself.While earlier work was characterizedby an intense, all-over painterly approach, Hewett’s more recent work sees the artist exploring a more reductive style; contrasting areas of his signature heavy impasto with more subdued areas of flat colour and clean lines.
To date Barnard has presented five solo exhibitions of the artists work including Once Were Leaders (VOLTA,NewYork) and the demand for his paintings continues to grow steadily. He has participated in group exhibitions in many major cities including amongst others Berlin, London, Paris, Sydney, Hong Kong and New York and his paintings have been presented at various art fairs including SCOPE Miami (2013-2014); FNB Joburg Art Fair (2013-2014); Cape Town Art Fair (2013-2018); Fountain Art Fair, Chicago (2014); Sydney Contemporary (2015); LA Art Show (2015);Art Central Hong Kong (2016) and AKAA (Also Known As Africa), Paris (2017).