The day before the opening of Dylan Glynn’s exhibition, After Order, After Disorder at the Hawn Gallery, the artist visited Arthur Peña’s Intermediate Painting class to speak with Meadows School of the Arts students. Dylan showed works from his wide-ranging practice – drawings, paintings, digital prints, and animated films – and discussed the trajectory of his career thus far.
Dylan began by presenting a series of his animated film shorts, many of which are now on view at the Hawn Gallery. A commercial animator by education and profession, these commissioned and independent film works were an excellent starting point from which to discuss Dylan’s diverse oeuvre and unique practice. Films such as Sister Narcissa and Lost Daughter evidence Dylan’s mastery of painting and the prominent role it plays in his animation work. The students were able to observe the watercolor and gouache backgrounds in the films and examine the ways in which they betray the presence of artist’s hand, despite the digital media. The sweeping brushstrokes and colorful watercolor washes are celebrated, rather than diluted by the digital interventions.
Dylan then discussed his experiences as an animation art student at Sheridan College in Toronto. He described the rigorous instruction he received in 2D animation, storyboarding, and design, as well as his early focus upon life drawing. He explained how his work diverged from many of his peers who were adopting a style more akin to the animation one sees in a Disney or Pixar film; yet, he still acknowledged the influence of pop culture in his work. He then discussed the further development of his practice at La Poudrière, an animation film school in Valence, France where he studied for two years. It was during this time that he established his reverence for, and focus upon, naïve, communicative, and deceptively sophisticated design that is present still in his professional work. He also grapples with the importance of narrative in his film works, often experimenting with nonlinear or cyclical storylines (such as the ones we see in Sister Narcissa and Lost Daughter).
Throughout his talk, Dylan cited many of the artists he admires, such as Walt Stanchfield, Reza Riahi, Louis Fratino, Seo Kim, and Jillian Tamaki, and showed the students examples of their work. This diverse group of illustrators, painters, and animators allowed the students a glimpse into the diverse influences that inform Dylan’s practice. He explained that he admires Stanchfield’s depiction of movement in forms, Reza Riahi’s complex compositions, and Fratino’s bold use of color.
At the end of the talk, students were invited to take a closer look at a selection of Dylan’s paintings and digital prints. In conjunction with the exhibition, After Order, After Disorder, Dylan completed a two-week residency in which he created three 4×4 foot paintings currently featured in the Hawn Gallery. These works responded to the themes addressed in the exhibition and took as sources of inspiration, the photographs from SMU’s DeGolyer Library that featured alongside his works in the gallery. Dylan discussed the impact of scale, and described the challenges he faced transitioning from intimate 7×10 inch sheets of watercolor paper to large-scale canvases. Professor Arthur Peña tasked his students with observing the fresh, gestural forms in these large works and considering their loose, improvisational style.
This Intermediate Painting class, which examines the principles, processes, and essential meaning of painting, provided an exceptional venue in which to explore Dylan’s work and allow the artist to engage with Meadows School of the Arts students.
Dylan Glynn: After Order, After Disorder will be on view in the Hawn Gallery through March 12th and will feature all of the artist’s works discussed during this class lecture.
Featured image: Dylan Glynn stands amid his most recent works in a Meadows School of the Arts studio.
Post and images courtesy of Georgia Erger
Video courtesy of Dylan Glynn