Wayne State University Art Department Gallery

150 Art Building, 5400 Reuther Mall
(in WSU's Community Arts Center, near Cass + Kirby)
Detroit, MI 48202

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NOEL NIGHT HOURS: 5:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M.

THIS MUST NOT BE THE PLACE YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE is a solo exhibition of work by Ryan Standfest. A group of recent paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and videos will be on view. Within these works Standfest functions as an ironic narrator, issuing dispatches from a gray area that is perpetually neither one place nor another. It is in this place that entropy is a given. Yet structures are continually erected to prevent collapse with the continued belief in self-realization through better engineering. This is a place where impermanence is guaranteed, but strength through design is not. Periods of subjective stability and greatness are illusory and can give way to a dangerous nostalgia. In this exhibition Standfest touches upon those distorting, designed fantasies intended to stave off the discomfort of inevitable change.
Ryan Standfest was born in Detroit, Michigan and earned an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa.
Maintaining a studio practice in Detroit, he is also the editor and publisher of Rotland Press, presenting satirical publications of a culturally relevant nature. Rotland Press has published work by Sue Coe, David Lynch, David Shrigley and Art Spiegelman, among many others. The press was recognized by Art In America in 2016 as publishing a project that was one of the top five “significant artworks” to emerge from Detroit in that year. His publications and prints are in numerous collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago Ryerson & Burnham Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France Prints and Photographs Department, and the Harvard University Library. Standfest has exhibited work nationally and abroad, most recently in the Mike Kelly Mobile Homestead at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the International Print Center of New York, the Association Les Abattoirs in Riom, France and Eastern Michigan University. His exhibition held at the HATCH Gallery in Hamtramck, MI in 2017 was listed as one of the top five Detroit-area gallery exhibitions that year by critic Sarah Rose Sharp for the Detroit Free Press.
As an essayist, Standfest has penned articles for the Detroit arts and culture journal Infinite Mile, contributed an essay on the artist Jim Chatelain for the book Cass Corridor: Connecting Times, edited by Simone DeSousa, and authored the chapter “A Useful Bile: André Breton’s Humour Noir in 1960s America” in the forthcoming book Radical Dreams: Surrealism and Counterculture, edited by Elliott H. King and Abigail Susik, from Penn State University Press.
Standfest is an instructor at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where he teaches courses in Printmaking and The Graphic Novel.
A portion of the work in this exhibition was completed during a 2018 residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Virginia.
THIS MUST NOT BE THE PLACE YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE is an extension of Building Utopia exhibition programming.  

Image ID:  Welcome to Fordlândi a, 2018, Ryan Standfest, gesso, charcoal, enamel and varnish on cardboard

Image ID: Welcome to Fordlândia, 2018, Ryan Standfest, gesso, charcoal, enamel and varnish on cardboard