kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery

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kathleen ryan returns to françois ghebaly gallery 

 

At the François Ghebaly Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles, Kathleen Ryan‘s iconically grotesque and glistening ‘rotting fruits’ return for a new exhibition dubbed Beachcomber. Dedicated to re-envisioning the detritrus of American life, Ryan’s work ‘marries disparate objects in novel formations, equally attuned to the material culture of her sources and the classical considerations of sculpture. Gravity, formal dynamism, and negative space are as much a part of her vocabulary as marble, crystal, and the hoods of aging muscle cars,’ writes the gallery

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery
Kathleen Ryan, Screwdriver, 2023

all images © Lance Brewer, courtesy the artist & François Ghebaly

 

 

the new ‘beachcomber’ exhibition alludes to the seaside 

 

In Beachcomber, Ryan (see more here) turns to the seaside, sculpting larger-than-life mollusks and cocktail skewers strewn about the gallery. Works like Deluxe and Screwdriver depict mammoth fruit garnishes with giant toothpicks, gem-set maraschino cherries, and citrus rinds formed from the tailgates of salvaged vehicles. A sun-bleached patio umbrella stands for a kitschy paper cocktail parasol, evoking multiple images of mid-century American life. 

 

Formally, Ryan sets a contrast of the closely studied, densely detailed rendering of citric mold and desiccation against solid planes of vivid automotive paint. Beyond their immediate juxtaposition of decadence and decay, these works demonstrate the bedrock sensibilities underlying Ryan’s practice, particularly the redemptive elevation of the literal and figurative junk of American society,’ continues François Ghebaly. 

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery
Screwdriver, 2023 (195.6 x 223.5 x 271.8 cm)

onyx, citrine, rhodonite, garnet, agate, tektite, lava rock, turquoise, aquamarine, serpentine, magnesite, amazonite, black tourmaline, jasper, prehnite, ruby in zoisite, marble, amber, labradorite, smoky quartz, quartz, acrylic, steel pins on coated polystyrene, aluminum umbrella, 68’ AMC Javelin trunk 

 

 

beyond the sea, ryan explores hardware 

 

Elsewhere in the Beachcomber exhibition, Kathleen Ryan repositions salvaged car hoods and trunks, arranging them in joined pairs like the cleft halves of oysters or clams. She configures hinges like lockets, affixing the shells in gestures of partial openness that highlight the interplay between exterior and interior, exposure and concealment, crude mechanism, and soft, organic life. Despite the heft of the vintage car components, these works are remarkable in integrating space and airiness into the solid hardware of their parts.

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery
close up shot – Screwdriver, 2023

 

 

Meanwhile, with Soft Palate, Kathleen Ryan casts a weathered blue car hood as the shell of an oyster, its rusty exterior giving way to a shock of inner crimson. As an oyster crafts a pearl from the stuff of its shell, Soft Palate cups a perfect sphere of red painted steel. In other works, the pearl is displaced by a delicate dewy spider web, a matrix of clear quartz crystal beads, each reflecting an inversion of its surroundings. ‘Throughout Beachcomber, she draws upon the detritus of a consumer society obsessed with the open road and where the lines between class and kitsch often blur. Ryan’s monuments to the overlooked are like the oysters they emulate: through silt and sediment, the pearl,’ concludes the gallery.

 

Beachcomber by Kathleen Ryan is on view in Downtown Los Angeles until March 23, 2023. 

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery
Deluxe, 2023 (134.6 x 114.3 x 186.7 cm)

agate, jasper, serpentine, garnet, lapis lazuli, smoky quartz, quartz, labradorite, tektite, aventurine, snowflake obsidian, onyx, tiger eye, turquoise, marble, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, wood, Datsun 1200 trunk 

kathleen-ryan-beachcomber-designboom-full-1

installation view of Beachcomber, 2023 – François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery
Generator VIII, 2023, (96.5 x 81.3 x 105.4 cm)

quartz crystal, silver-plated stainless steel cable, silver crimps, steel, automotive paint, Dodge trunks 

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery
back view – Generator VIII, 2023

kathleen-ryan-beachcomber-designboom-full-2

Soft Palate, 2023 (123.2 x 116.8 x 124.5 cm) | car hoods, steel, stainless steel, automotive paint

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery
back view – Soft Palate, 2023

kathleen ryan evokes the seaside in glittering series of moldy fruit at françois ghebaly gallery
Generator VII, 2023 (96.5 x 83.8 x 81.3 cm)

quartz crystal, silver-plated stainless steel cable, silver crimps, steel, Volkswagen trunks

kathleen-ryan-beachcomber-designboom-full-3

installation view of Beachcomber, 2023 – François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA

 

1/8
Generator VII, 2023
Generator VII, 2023
Generator VII, 2023
Generator VII, 2023
Soft Palate, 2023
Soft Palate, 2023
Deluxe, 2023
Deluxe, 2023
Soft Palate, 2023
Soft Palate, 2023
nstallation view of Beachcomber, 2023 - François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA
nstallation view of Beachcomber, 2023 - François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA
nstallation view of Beachcomber, 2023 - François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA
nstallation view of Beachcomber, 2023 - François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA
nstallation view of Beachcomber, 2023 - François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA
nstallation view of Beachcomber, 2023 - François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, CA

 

exhibition info:

 

name: Beachcomber 

location: François Ghebaly Gallery | @francoisghebaly, Los Angeles, CA

artist: Kathleen Ryan | @katieryankatieryan

photography: Lance Brewer | @lance.brewer

dates: February 18 – March 23, 2023 

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