Ryan McGinness creates drawings that are inspired by his urban surroundings and street culture, in particular corporate logos and graffiti art. Employing a layered system of symbols and signs, he blurs the lines between abstraction and representation by creating a visual syntax that seemingly tells a story, yet one that is nonlinear and open to investigation. Untitled (Black on Black, B2) is part of a series of six drawings the artist began in 2006 after separating from his wife. While previous works are bright, colorful, and evoke a Pop art aesthetic, here McGinness develops a darker sensibility by employing varied black and grey tones against a white background. This results in a brooding, yet playful, exploration of positive and negative space from which emerge the profiles of two humans gazing at each other.
Label from Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, July 8–October 15, 2017