Ryan Hackett draws upon the forms, colors, and sounds of the natural world suspending them in a state of transition. Suggesting the skewed reality and altered consciousness of hallucinations, dreams, and memories, Hackett’s installations, video, and paintings look to transport the viewer into highly immersive experiences.

Hackett uses sound and paint to trap, isolate, and transform natural stimuli. Much like an electronic musician might sample a beat and transform it into something new, he uses paint and sound to "sample" part of a visual or auditory element and repeat, alter, and suspend it according to the subject’s vocal and anatomical cues. The result is an image or sound that grows through a system of atmospheric channel-like extensions. Reflecting on our modern cultures relationship to manicured natural form, his work pushes and pulls between the raw and the streamlined, the wild and the controlled. The end result looks to provide the viewer with a system for reflection, a structure for the eyes and the ears to wander and invent.

Based in Washington, DC, Hackett received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2007, and his BA in studio art from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1999. In between his academic pursuits, he co-founded Decatur Blue, a Washington DC-based artist collective that challenged the commercial constructs of the art world by serving as curator, artist, and gallery.

Hackett's work has been featured in exhibitions internationally including the permanent collection of the U.S. Department of State's Arts in Embassies program currently on exhibit in Madagascar. In 2010, Hackett was the recipient of the Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize for his exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Recent shows include a solo exhibition titled natural synthetics at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, NYC, The Los Angeles Art Show 2012, Mutual Friends at Present Co. Gallery in Brooklyn, NYC, and Beyond Human at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.


2007 M.F.A., San Francisco Art Institute; San Francisco, CA
1999 B.A., Studio Art, University of Maryland; College Park, MD
1995 Rutgers University; New Brunswick, NJ

Selected Exhibitions

The Dog and Pony Show, Area 405, Baltimore, MD
Outside Narratives, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

Silent Auction to benefit Transformer, American University Museum, Washington, DC

Beyond Human, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Mutual Friends, Present Company, Brooklyn, NY
Los Angeles Art Show, 2012, Los Angeles, CA
LUX, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
Signals, DCAC, Washington, DC
PpPp, Present Company, Brooklyn, NY

natural synthetics, The Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, NYC
Transformer's Silent Auction, Corcoran Gallery of Art, DC
Dutch Auction 2011, Jane Haslem Gallery; Washington, DC

US Deptartment of State, Permanent Collection, United States Embassy; Antananarivo, Madagascar
Catalyst, American Art Museum, Washington DC
Neon Gore, Space 9; Kyongbuk University, Daegu, South Korea
The Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize 2010, Baltimore Museum of Art; Baltimore, MD
Transformer's Silent Auction, Mexican Cultural Institute, DC
Maryland Art Place Silent Auction, MAP Gallery; Baltimore, MD

Atmospheres, Doyo; Daegu, South Korea
MGM Grand, Project City Center Permanent Collection, Las Vegas, NV
Red Tape > Ryan Hackett, Meat Market; Washington, DC
The Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize 2009, Baltimore Museum of Art; Baltimore, MD
WPA Silent Auction, American University Museum; Washington, DC

Root Division’s 7th Annual Art Auction, Root Division; San Francisco, CA
Interspecies Transmission, Solo Show, G Fine Art; Washington, DC
The Sky Is Falling, Spur Projects; Portola Valley, CA

Evolutions of Paint and Sound, Solo Show, Spur Projects; Portola Valley, CA
Freaks of Nature, Bronx River Art Center; Bronx, NY
Taste, Root Division; San Francisco, CA
Vernissage, SFAI MFA Exhibition; San Francisco, CA

Recent Graduate Work, Diego Rivera Gallery; San Francisco, CA
Impressive Nature, 1015 Folsom; San Francisco, CA
Woodlands, Swell Gallery; San Francisco, CA

Blueprints for Sleepwalking, Gensler; Washington, DC
Cubicle 10, Curated by Billy Colbert, Cubicle 10; Baltimore, MD

Omniart 2 (during Art Basel Miami), Curated by Tina Spiro; Miami, FL
Silent Auction To Benefit Transformer Gallery, Fusebox; Washington, DC
CORE 13, Core; Washington, DC
Anonymous, Flashpoint; Washington, DC
Plastic Tactics, Curated By Andrea Polan, Artscape; Baltimore, MD
Resolutionz, Decatur Blue @ Signal 66; Washington, DC

Easy Dubbing, Curated by Mario Cader-Frech (during Art Basel Miami), 1674 Meridian; Miami Beach,FL
Space Invaders, Tyler School of Art; Philadelphia, PA
Danger, San Joaquin Delta College; Stockton, CA
Baba, Decatur Blue @ Signal 66; Washington, DC
Art Night: Annual Auction and Exhibition, Hickock, Warner, and Cole Architecture Firm; Washington, DC

Curator’s Choice: The WPA\C’s 2002 Auction Exhibition, Corcoran Gallery of Art; Washington, DC
Savage Love, Signal 66; Washington, DC
Art Night: Annual Auction and Exhibition, Hickock, Warner, and Fox Architecture Firm; Washington, DC

Lucky 7, Millennium Art Center; Washington, DC
Rug Burn, Decatur Blue Event at Adams Morgan Warehouse; Washington, DC

Art Night: Annual Auction and Exhibition, Hickock, Warner, and Fox Architecture Firm; Washington, DC
Recent Treatments of Tranquility, Monterey; Washington, DC
Distance, Decatur Blue; Washington, DC
Talavera’s Review, Decatur Blue; Washington, DC

Aids Action/ Starwood Urban: Evening of the Arts, Dual Exhibition: Aids Action/ Starwood Urban; Washington, DC
Penta Luna, Decatur Blue; Washington, DC
Art Night: Auction and Exhibition, Hickock, Warner, and Fox Architecture Firm; Washington, DC
Art-O-Matic, Washington, DC
Art Romp, The Warehouse; Washington, DC
Decatur Blue Inaugural Show, Decatur Blue; Washington, DC

Fast Forward: The WPA/Corcoran 20th Anniversary Exhibition and Auction, Corcoran Gallery of Art; Washington, DC

Honors and Achievements

Recipient of The Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize 2010
The Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize Finalist 2009
Graduate Fellowship, San Francisco Art Institute 2006-2007
Graduate Fellowship, San Francisco Art Institute 2005-2006


McCabe, Bret. “The Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize Finalists Exhibition,”
Baltimore City Paper. (July 8, 2009)

Smith, Tim. “A Collage Of Ideas,” The Baltimore Sun. (June 28, 2009)

Judkis, Maura. “Creating A Buzz,” The Onion (A.V. Section). (September 25, 2008)

Mahoney, J.W. “Report From Washington D.C., To a Different Drum,” Art in America
(May 2008)

Donohoe, Victoria. “Space Invaders,” Philadelphia Inquirer. (September 21, 2003)

Dawson, Jessica. “Decatur: An Intermittent Turn-On,” The Washington Post.
(February 6, 2003)

Jenkins, Mark. “Resolutionz,” Washington City Paper. (December 26, 2003)

Franke-Ruta, Garance. “Distance,” Washington City Paper. (January 11, 2002)

Foster, Margaret. “House of Blues: On U Street, five guys dream a little about D.C.’s alternative arts scene,” Washington Flyer Magazine. (October 2001)

Dawson, Jessica. “A Space of Their Own: At Decatur Blue, Art Minus the Middleman.” The Washington Post. (November 30, 2000)