Pool Overgrown, 2010, acrylic on panel, 36 x 48 inches
Add On, acrylic on panel, 24 x 32 inches
Ponds, acrylic on panel, 12 x 16 inches
Untitled, Parking Lot (Scenic Overlook), 2008, acrylic on paper, 16 x 20 inches
Untitled, Houses (Fade), 2008, acrylic on panel, 24 x 32 inches
Intersections (Stop), 2006, acrylic on paper, 12 x 16 inches
Empty Lot (Backyards), 2008, acrylic on panel, 24 x 32 in.
Untitled (Culvert Waterfall), 2007, acrylic on paper, 80 x 60 in.
Office Tower (Citadel), 2006, acrylic on panel, 36 x 48 in.
Submerged Rocks, acrylic on panel, 12 x 16 inches
Untitled (Inlet), 2008, acrylic on panel, 72 x 48 in.
A curious emptiness permeates the work of Chris Ballantyne. Banal features of suburban and industrial zones are sources for paintings that highlight the quirky and absurd. Graphically rendered buildings, pools, parking lots, and fences take on new meanings and amplified significance, isolated on flat fields of color.
Dysfunctional structures are flawless in their strangeness, made beautiful through symmetry, simplified lines and flat, subdued colors. Ballantyne eliminates detail to emphasize the subtleties of the way we experience space and our attempts at containment. He extends these concepts further by expanding the imagery of his paintings beyond the picture plane and onto the surrounding walls. With shrewd restraint, Ballantyne accentuates the antisocial effects of our built environment with a hint of humor and plenty of ambiguity.
Chris Ballantyne (b. 1972, Mobile , Alabama), received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and resides in Brooklyn. He was included in the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, and Bay Area Now at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, in 2005. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Chris Ballantyne is fascinated with the potential of his wood panel’s flat surface, and the flow of the wood grain. He paints man-made, deserted landscapes, and he seeks out the parallels between his panel and the flat earth (or asphalt, or water), which he often paints from above. He sometimes uses his untouched wood surface to evoke space, effecting lyrical, if deliciously paradoxical, confluences between flatness and depth. (Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe correspondent)