Travis Rice is one of the most well-recognized voices in geometric painting today. His challenging compositions, sculptural designs and painterly engagement with the world of geometric forms is defined by the visual impact of a riotous use of color. This is only offset by the elegance of his black and white drawings, which are composed of similar motifs, but which are rendered in a more pared down, reductive and de-saturated manner. They form a series of subtler explorations that function as an elegant springboard for the tumbling of block forms and rigorous geometric modeling that Rice regularly transforms into a dynamic play of colliding planes, pulsating hues and pleasurable sensations.
Toward this end, foreground and background elements often sit within a dramatic expanse in Rice's work, while larger motifs can sometimes feel as if they are abutted against the very surface upon which they are rendered. Glitter, glazing materials and other forms of industrial lacquer play a big role in the execution of the work, which allows the geometric figures to stand out against the depth and dazzle of his bejeweled backgrounds.
More recently Rice has ventured into stripe painting, with the added twist that the linear elements in these works are actually his trademark ratchet and bolt shapes turned on their side. Playing flatness against depth, structure against substrate, and systems thinking against the infinite play of variation marks Rice’s project as being one of the most relevant and timely interventions in the “New Geometricism” today.
Bio: Travis Rice is an artist currently residing in Phoenix, AZ where he teaches within the Fine Arts Department at Phoenix College. Originally from Elkhart, IN, he initially studied design at Ball State University and earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 1991. In 2017, he earned his MFA in drawing and painting from Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Influenced by his architecture background, Travis incorporates 3D modeling to create complex hard edge compositions that give an illusion of space through both form and materiality. He often renders his compositions using vivid color or what he describes as gloriously gaudy hues that incorporate basic color theory but also serve as a bit of a rebellion from his design-based education. His interests lie in creating a language of image making that speaks to our current digital era but roots itself in a historical context through analog translation. He is currently represented by Bentley Gallery in Phoenix, AZ as well as Moberg Gallery in Des Moines, IA.