Ryan Whelan (b. 1991) is an Oakland-based artist whose current practice uses abstraction as a means for self-confrontation. He utilizes elemental forms to construct scenes of his inner world, somewhere he feels limitless images are waiting to be discovered. Whelan considers paintings as objects that must react to their environment around them, mirroring the same dynamic ability our surroundings have on us. He does this by using texture as color, often building up gestural impasto layers of paint that construct surfaces that dance with light, making the work an experience that changes as the day goes by.

Originally from Torrance, California, Whelan moved to the Bay Area in 2009 to earn his BFA in Printmaking from San Francisco State University. He has exhibited in the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, Los Angeles, and Paris. Whelan has an upcoming exhibition with Liz Hernández at the new Institute of Contemporary Art in San Francisco.

San Francisco State University – Bachelor of Fine Arts, Printmaking - 2015

Selected Exhibitions

2023 - A Weed By Any Other Name, ICA SF
2022 - Promise Witness, Part2 Gallery, Oakland, CA
2020 - The sum of my surroundings, Part2 Gallery, Oakland, CA
2018 - Provisions, Part2 Gallery, Oakland, CA
2018 - Why am I crawling in this dirt?, Stephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, OR
2017 - SUN BATH, Legion Shop, SF, CA
2016 - a pot is a pot is a pot is a pot, Good Mother, Oakland, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions
2023 - Working Craft, 120710, Berkeley, CA

2022 - Irrelevant Press & Friends, Aggregate Space, Oakland, CA

2021 – Art of the Heist: Virtual Benefit, Arts of Life, Chicago, IL
2021 – Art Kala 2021!, Kala Art Institute, Oakland, CA
2021 – 20th Annual Root Division Art Auction, Root Division, SF, CA
2021 - Represented Group Show, Part2 Gallery, Oakland, CA
2021 – Californisme: partie 2, Bimbam Gallery, Paris, France

2020 - soothe, Sugarlift, New York, NY
2020 - Friends and Family, Hashimoto Contemporary, SF, CA

2019 - November Group Los Angeles, Part2 Gallery, LA, CA
2019 - Summer Collective, Stephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, CA
2019 - Camp Fire Relief Auction, Minnesota Street Project

2018 - Divisions of Labor, Minnesota Street Project, SF, CA
2018 - Know You, Athen B. Gallery, Oakland, CA

2017 - A Group Thing, Stephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, OR

2016 - Welkom Baek, Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, SF, CA
2016 - New Folk, The Galallery, San Francisco, CA

2015 - A Walk with Friends, Everyday SF, San Francisco, CA
2015 - Hang Tang, Sgraffito, Emeryville, CA
2015 - Having Fun, Farley’s East, Oakland, CA
Saturday Feb 4 2023