• David Eichholtz

Revisiting Mario Yrisarry's Paintings from "Stenciled and Sprayed" Exhibition in 2017

Looking back at the Mario Yrisarry exhibition, "Stenciled and Sprayed" in 2017, a couple of additional points to emphasize and provide background and context for those who may not be very familiar with the artist, his work and legacy.

Some of Yrisarry’s earliest stencils included rubber floor mats that are used in restaurant kitchens and commercial buildings. The idea came to him when he was a dishwasher and would clean the mats with water after his shift and then thrown them on the ground to remove the excess. The resulting patterns and sprays left very abstract and unique patterns that inspired him to explore as a device for his paintings.  Thus, he started cutting up such materials and using them with acrylic paint.


Yrisarry was also one of the early people to use the airbrush (you can see the extension given the spray patterns produced from the rubber mats). He developed an elaborate apparatus to hold his canvases and rotate them in every direction so that he could stand in the same place and steady his arm to generate near perfect hard edge lines with a fine spray nozzle. 


These methods and devices allowed him to move away from the brush and traditional approaches to applying pigment to his canvases. 


Following is a selection of artworks from the exhibition and press release with a brief bio for Yrisarry.


Mario Yrisarry Untitled 1961 Acrylic on board 23 x 28.5”



Mario Yrisarry Untitled 1961 Acrylic on board 23 x 28.5”



Mario Yrisarry Omega 1964 Acrylic on canvas 73 1/2 x 68”

Mario Yrisarry Bilight 1964 Acrylic on canvas 69 x 89”


Mario Yrisarry First Forty Niner 1966 Acrylic on canvas 82 x 68



Mario Yrisarry Survivor 1967 Acrylic on canvas 48 x 82”


PRESS RELEASE New York Artist Mario Yrisarry In His First Solo Exhibition at David Richard Gallery, Presenting Abstract Paintings from 1961 – 1967 that Explored Non-Traditional Methods Of Painting on Canvas Without Brushes.  David Richard Gallery is pleased to present Stenciled and Sprayed: Paintings from 1961 - 1967 by Mario Yrisarry, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Yrisarry stenciled and sprayed his canvases with acrylic paint, exploring non-traditional, non-brush methods of applying pigment during the 1960s and 70s in New York. The artist’s reductive, non-representational work can be placed in several different art historical movements from that period, including Lyrical Abstraction and Color Field painting, Op Art, Systematic Painting, and the Pattern and Decoration movement. The gallery has presented Yrisarry’s paintings over the past few years in exhibitions that explored several such movements and periods. This current exhibition is focused on the artist’s process and maps the early experimental works using stencils and his migration to very organized grid compositions and highly skilled use of airbrush paint applications. About Mario Yrisarry: Inspired by jazz music, his linear applications of paint with combinations of hard and soft edges within the same composition created lyrical abstractions while his canvas-filling patterns produced a rhythm and beat. These approaches crossed over into the Pattern and Decoration movement and garnered him coverage in the Criss-Cross Art Communications.  Yrisarry exhibited regularly with Graham Gallery and O.K. Harris Works of Art as well as at the Park Place Gallery in New York. His work was included in many important exhibitions: Painting Without A Brush, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 1965; Whitney Biennial, New York, 1970; Painting and Sculpture Today, Indianapolis Museum of Art,1970; Using Walls, Jewish Museum, 1970; Spray, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1971; The Structure of Color, Whitney Museum, NY, 1971; Grids, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, 1972. Yrisarry’s artwork is in many private and public collections, including: Joseph Hirshhorn Collection, Washington, DC; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; among others.  Yrisarry was born in Manila, Philippines and studied at Queens College and Cooper Union in New York. He stopped painting and exhibiting in 1977. David Richard Gallery is now exhibiting and representing Yrisarry and his important artworks.

By David Eichholtz

New York


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