Revisiting Ripley’s World

August 19 - September 23, 2021

Revisiting Ripley’s World: Paintings & Sculptures by Tim Ripley is a virtual exhibition comprised of Ripley’s “Soft Cell” works (2013) and moves into the brighter colored canvases and sculptures of his “Biomorph” period of 2014.

Read the full press release below.


This virtual exhibition is comprised of Tim Ripley’s “Soft Cell” works (2013) and moves into the brighter colored canvases and sculptures of his “Biomorph” period of 2014. “Soft Cell” refers to the tiny soft polymer clay forms and environments Ripley carefully sculped that served as the precursor for his deftly painted oil paintings on panel. This body of work reminds us that technology has changed the way we perceive the world around us. Simulations, reproductions, and symbols become more “real” than the subject they represent.

The “Soft Cell” and “Biomorph” series are cousins. Ripley manipulates value, color, texture, and scale with digital editing programs, in high resolution for each layer. The generated digital print serves as a reference for paintings and sculptures. Using a technique of “wet into wet,” with tiny brushes, painting three or four times over the work, he achieves a “Smooth” gradient shaded surfaces. A gloss varnish enhances the refined surface giving each work both a clean modern efficiency, as well as a timeless quality.  Ripley sought to represent the surreal pseudo digital forms and environments created through mediations of form and subject. His titles are often taken from movies, an obtuse relation to the painting’s subject matter. The artist’s bright adolescence shines through his titles, performing as a direct reference to the culture in which he grew up.

The ‘Biomorph” works continue to employ these methods but are far brasher in colors and forms. The candy-like colored polymer sculptures are comprised of thousands of tiny structures in polymer clay attached to the larger sculpted biomorphic surface. In a manner that references complex growth systems, Ripley’s narratives involve “mitosis, mutations, inequality, and rebellion.” Where his “Soft Cell” pieces often refer to logic and machines, the “Biomorph” works have a saturated, decorative color palette that conveys human characteristics like vanity and desire.

Ripley has an M.F.A from Northwestern University and completed his undergraduate work at Columbia College in Illinois, where he returned as a professor. He has shown extensively in the Chicago area with other exhibitions in Cleveland, Ohio, and Houston, Texas. Ripley’s works have been included in Art Fairs such as Art Miami. His first solo exhibition with Denise Bibro Fine Art was featured in the well-noted Summer’s Collector’s issue of “Artnews Magazine” in 2013.