just a man trying to destroy a photograph

Photo By Bruna Rico

Ryan Van Der Hout is a photo-based artist working in Toronto. His work explores photographic materials and experimental processes, pushing the limits of the photographic object. His most recent work, Dark Waters, investigates the relationship between photography and technology using laser cutters and CNC machines.

Ryan has an ongoing documentary project At Work focused on artistic process and studio space. This work has been widely published including in The Huffington Post, CBC and Readers Digest.

Ryan's work has been exhibited across Canada, the U.K. and in New York, most notably as part of the AGO’s Collector’s series, as a featured Contact exhibition and in Flash Forward. His work has been supported by the Ontario Arts Council and awarded the Emerging Artist Award by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. He's a graduate of Ryerson's photography program and represented by Oeno Gallery.

From a young age, I always wanted to create. Whether it was taking apart tv sets or creating installations out of old lightbulbs, I always had a project. I discovered photography at the age of 16 and instantly fell in love. The magic of the image appearing out of nothing had me hooked. 

The very first image I made was a photogram, a projection of light on paper with no camera. That simplicity drove my practice for 10 years. I am still more interested in the materiality of the photo - the magic inside it -  than in any image. 

I lean towards images that are simple and stand in for an idea or a concept. It is then what I do with the image that drives my practice, whether it is scratching, burning, laser cutting or creating a kaleidoscope. It is all about transformation and, often, destruction.

I love challenging people to question what a photograph is and what it can be. When people come to my show and say "but that's not a photograph" I've won.


About Me

My Fancy Third Person Bio



Oeno Gallery - Prince Edward County


BFA with Honours, Image Arts– Photography, Ryerson University, Toronto, April 2009 

Solo and Collaborative Exhibitions

Dark Waters, Double Happiness Projects, Toronto, September 29 - November 18, 2018

Dark Waters, Robert Mclaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario, June 04 - September 23 2018

Surface Tension Installation, Doors Open Toronto, Toronto Archives, May 28 2016

Surface Tension, Featured Contact Festival Show, Hashtag Gallery, Toronto, May 2016 

(e)femora, Eleanor Winters Art Gallery, York University, Toronto, 2011

Light Objects, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, May 26-June 26 2010 

Light and Objecthood, Ryerson Gallery, Toronto, January 2010

Icons, Latcham Gallery, Markham, Ontario, November 2009

Light Compositions, Art Mur, Montreal, Quebec, September 16- October 6, 2009

Icons, Gallery Karozene, Montreal, Quebec, May 5-30, 2009

Icons, Engine Gallery, Toronto, April 1-17, 2008

Vanitas and the Death of the Darkroom: Photograms by Ryan Van Der Hout, Engine Gallery, Toronto, May 7-30, 2007

Selected Group Exhibitions

Winter Tonic, Oeno Gallery, Prince Edward County, Ontario, Winter 2019-2020

Grow Op, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, April 2019

Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition, Orillia Museum of Art, September-November 2018

Grow Op, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, April 2018 

Salon 44, Gallery 44, Toronto, March 2017

Flash Forward, Division Gallery, Toronto, October 2016

Utopia: Dystopia, Walcot Chapel Gallery, Bath, England, May-June 2016

Come Together, Curated by Barbara Astman, Propeller Gallery, Toronto, May 2016

Supernova, No Vacancy (one night installation art festival), Burlington Ontario, September 2015 

Actinic, Stills Scotland’s Centre for Photography, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2015 

Tra-Digital, Elsie Whitley Innovation Centre, West Yorkshire, England, June 2015 

Spotlight on the Collection, University of New Brunswick Art Centre, January 2015

Nuit Blanche: Public Installation, Ryerson University,  Toronto, September 29, 2009

Altered Realities, Agora Gallery, New York, NY, November 19- December 12, 2008 

Nuit Blanche: Engine Gallery, Toronto, September 29, 2007 

Young Artists Showcase: Queen West Art Crawl, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, September 15-17, 2005

Emerging Visions, Hangman Gallery, Toronto, May 1-31, 2005

Press and Publications

Vogue Italia, PhotoVogue, 2020

Blog TO, A Streetcar Named Toronto, 2019

CTV, Toronto is Sending Off Its Old Streetcars in Style, 2019

Narcity, You Can Hop Aboard A Psychedelic Streetcar in Toronto This Fall, 2019

CBC, Catching Toronto's Famed Streetcar...Before It's Gone for Good, 2019

Flash Forward, Magenta Foundation, 2018

Toronto Life, Grow Op Highlights, 2018

Flash Forward, Magenta Foundation, 2016

Art Local, Stephanie from Art Bitch Interviews Ryan Van Der Hout, April 22, 2014

CTV Morning News, A tour of “The Collector Series” exhibition, November 30, 2011

Fashion Television, A look at “The Collector Series” exhibition, December 2011, 

Jeanne Beker

“Jeanne Beker Strips her Walls for the AGO”, Toronto Star, November 30, 2011

Andrea Carson, “Artist Spotlight”, VOCA, June 2010


Art is Spectrum: The Chelsea Perspective” (bi-annual publication), Vol. 20, ed. Angela Di Bello, November 2008, pp. 55

Rolyn Chambers. “Deep Dish”, FAB Magazine, Issue 316, March 2007


Streetcar Museum

Library of the AGO

Montreal Planetarium

Art Centre, University of New Brunswick

Pierre and Anne-Marie Trahan (Arsenal)

Jeanne Beker

Art Fairs

Charlie James Gallery, LA, Art Toronto 2018

Oeno Gallery, Prince Edward County, Art Toronto 2018

Oeno Gallery, Prince Edward County, Art Toronto 2017

Engine Gallery, Toronto, Art Toronto 2008

Engine Gallery, Toronto, Art Toronto 2007


Artist Talks

Robert Mclaughlin Gallery, 2018 

Cut, Scratch, Fold. Gallery 44, 2016

Hashtag Gallery: Artist Talk with AGM Curator, Kendra Ainsworth

Panel on alternative process photography, Lonsdale Gallery 2015

Ryerson Gallery: Artist Talk 2010

Liquid Lunch: That Channel 2010

Public Art

Our Streetcar, Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto, 2018

Space and Time : Pemberton Developments, Toronto, 2018

Snap Live Auction, Toronto Reference Library, Toronto, March 2020

Snap Live Auction, Toronto Reference Library, Toronto, March 2018

Snap Live Auction, Canadian Ballet Academy, Toronto, March 4, 2007