293 Tenth Avenue
December 10, 2015 — January 23, 2016
Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce Dodecahedron, Mark Ryden’s second exhibition at the gallery, on view at 293 10th Avenue from December 10, 2015 - January 23, 2016. Dodecahedron features the Los Angeles-based artist’s first-ever bronze sculpture, along with eight new paintings, drawings, color studies and a new porcelain edition.
The vocabulary of images in Ryden’s new body of work remains consistent with his pervasive distortion of scale and his iconic fairytale-like creatures set against seductive landscapes of untouched beauty. However, the subject of his latest series is informed by the geometric structure “dodecahedron,” a solid figure bearing twelve sides whose perfect symmetry has been the source of extensive query by mathematicians and scientists since antiquity. Drawing upon the form’s mystery and divine connotations as a source of inspiration, Ryden explores the bridge between the physical world and the intangible realm.
For the exhibition, Ryden created his first sculpture cast from bronze. Measuring one meter in height, the work consists of twelve pentagonal panels that join together to form a dodecahedron. Each panel is individually cast and features images and motifs that have been prevalent throughout the artist’s oeuvre such as; the tree, the eye, the fetus, the bee, the ammonite, and Abraham Lincoln.
Ryden’s labor-intensive canvases skillfully rework centuries of art history, combining the grandeur of Spanish and Italian religious painting with the decorative richness of Old Master compositions and the lush textures of French Neo-Classicism. Expanding on these concepts, the artist’s paintings focus on “the soul confronting its physical form” as represented by his reoccurring feminine child figure, he calls “anima” or “soul” figure. These anima figures appear under different guises, such as in Anatomia, 2015 and Aurora, 2015. For the artist, they represent the part of us that wonders at the elegant mathematics that exists underneath everything and the sacred geometry that constructs our physical world.
Mark Ryden was born in Medford, Oregon and received his BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasedena in 1987. Exhibitions include a mid-career retrospective “Wondertoonel” at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle and the Pasadena Museum of California Art (2004-2005); "The Artist’s Museum" at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; “The Gay 90’s: Old Tyme Art Show” at Paul Kasmin Gallery in 2010, and "The Gay 90's West" at Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles in 2014. His work is currently included in “Hey! Modern Art and Pop Culture / Act III,” a group exhibition on view through March 3, 2016 at La Halle Saint Pierre in Paris, France. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.