Kathleen Ryan

Kathleen Ryan, Cultivator, 2019. Photo: Jack Spicer Adams

Kathleen Ryan, Mother of Pearl, 2019. Photo: Jack Spicer Adams

Kathleen Ryan, Cultivator, 2019. Photo: Jack Spicer Adams

Kathleen Ryan (b. 1984, California, USA) lives and works in New York, USA. Ryan works with cast iron, carved marble, granite and found objects to create sculptures that reference natural forms and industrially manufactured produce. Ryan engages with formal sculptural concerns such as volume, weight, pressure, balance, and line, while subtly alluding to the material’s historical and economic underpinnings, along with frequent references to the human body and classical motifs. Recent exhibitions include The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK (2019); MIT LIST Visual Arts Centre, USA (2019); CC Foundation & Art Centre, China (2018); and Kunsthistorisches Museum, Austria (2017).

Project Description

Kathleen Ryan presents large-scale sculptural works at Bluecoat and The Lewis’s Building. Taking inspiration from the natural world, the sculptures engage with the complexity of object histories, the circulation of objects and their relationships with nature. The seven-and-a-half-feet-tall iron structure titled Mother of Pearl (2019) alludes to the form of a furnace – a facilitator of industry which is dependent on natural materials for fuel – it is figurative and infinite in shape, its rusty exterior contrasted by a smooth abalone shell interior. Select sculptures from Ryan's 'Bad Fruit' series, Bad Lemon (Slice) (2020), Bad Cherries (Legs) (2020) and Bad Peach (Cheeky) (2020), will be displayed at Bluecoat. Combining both found and forged elements, Ryan’s sculptures negotiate the organic and the mechanic, acting as reminders of extraction.