Ryan Thayer (US)

"Office", c-print, 30 x 38 inches, 2004


Ryan Thayer was raised in St. Louis, a city recognized for its monumental minimalist sculpture and infamous architectural experiments. He currently lives and works in San Francisco, where he attended UC Berkeley’s Art Practice program and recently graduated from the California College of the Arts MFA program in 2006. His work has been exhibited in venues such as the Pacific Film Archive, Southern Exposure, CCA’s PlaySpace, and Arthouse in Austin, TX.


Architecture is the structure of structures. The work I make could be considered architectural, but not in the traditional notion of the profession. My work is architectural in the sense that it is an engagement of forms with the social, the spatial and the structural. A majority of architecture takes the form of proposals, models, and conceptual drawings, not actualized buildings. I work with the built environment but focus on interstitial spaces, the spaces between the personal and the institutional, the viewer and artwork, and the idea and the execution of an object. These are spaces that are defined by ideals, instructions, and permission, and their characteristics are transferred through access and ownership.

I select my materials from a palette of industrial objects, as literal elements from office spaces, shopping centers, and product displays whose design and function are reconfigured. The objects are radically simplified, or abstracted, remaining entirely recognizable but denied of their utilitarian function/use value. I have used instructions manuals and business models as guidelines for creative decision- making causing these objects to perform their own logic. Through photographs, sculptures, installations and sound pieces; efficiency, exchange ability, interchangeability and replace ability become form.