Go See – New York: ‘Will Ryman: A New Beginning’ at Marlborough Gallery through October 10, 2009

September 13th, 2009


Rose #39
, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery

‘Will Ryman: A New Beginning’, an exhibition showcasing the work of New York artist Will Ryman, is currently showing at the Marlborough Gallery in Chelsea. This is Ryman’s second exhibition at the gallery and follows his much celebrated show at the Saatchi Gallery in London earlier this year.  ‘A New Beginning’ has taken over the first floor of the gallery and features 39 sculptures, ranging in size from 2ft – 7ft high. The sculptures depict over 100 Roses which vary in shades of pink and red amid a garden of detritus. Visitors are encouraged to roam through the garden in which their view is distorted to reflect that of a rodent.


Will Ryman Installation video. Via Marlborough Gallery

Related Links:
Will Ryman: A New Beginning event page [Marlborough Gallery]
Profiling: Will Ryman by Mary Barone [ArtinAmericaMagazine]
Will Ryman interview August 2009 [ArtonAir.org]
Go See Will Ryman: The Bed [ArtObserved]

More text and pictures after the jump…


Rose #30, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery

As the son of the celebrated painter Robert Ryman, Will Ryman had initially intended to stay far away from the art world. From 1990 to 2001, Ryman studied fiction and dramatic writing. However, as a result of writers block and a growing frustration with the limits of writing, Ryman began making figures as a way to express the ideas in his plays. At this point, Ryman has been exclusively devoted to sculpture since 2002.


Rose #28, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery


Rose #9, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery

There is a long tradition of the depiction of flowers in Western Art. Flowers have come to represent beauty, purity and fertility; certain species also bear distinct meanings in a complex language of their own. The Rose is acknowledged by Ryman as “the most recognized flower and symbolic across the world”. While this may be true, the rose is traditionally a flower revered for its beauty and religious significance. In contrast, Ryman cites the Rose as having become, “a symbol of global consumption….used to sell everything from greeting cards to candy to health care. Its another kind of reckless.” In this light, Ryman’s roses display an overwhelming dark element; each sculpture’s raw elements are allowed to shine through. The steel, epoxy, resin, aluminum, plaster and paint from which Ryman handcrafted his flowers, allow for a rough, harsh texture to dominate their appearance.


Rose #5, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery


Rose #15, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery

This ‘darkness’, which the Marlborough gallery states is a key theme of the installation, is highlighted by the inclusion of well-known symbols of decay – black flies and aphids. Similarly, the garden is polluted by over-sized and overtly detailed debris which marks human existence; squashed Coke cans, Budweiser caps and cigarette butts spill onto the ground and thereby heighten the harsh reality of public spaces in New York city.


Rose #38, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery


Rose #24, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery


Rose #14, Will Ryman. Via Marlborough Gallery