NEW YORK, NY.- Paul Kasmin Gallery
, in conjunction with New York City's Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Fund for the Park Avenue Sculpture Committee, will present Will Ryman's The Roses, a new site-specific installation to bloom along Park Avenue from January 25 through May 31, 2011. Transforming Park Avenue into a fanciful garden, Will Ryman's 38 sculptures of rose blossoms towering as high as 25 feet, complimented by 20 individual scattered rose petals, will festoon Park Avenue Mall between 57th and 67th Streets in the artist's inaugural public art exhibition. Reflecting Ryman's flair for the dramatic and absurdly wonderful, roses painted in shades of pink and red will spring up in vibrant contrast to the traditionally bleaker winter months preceding spring in the artist's large-scale love letter to New York City.
Envisioned for the unique setting of Park Avenue, Will Ryman's The Roses will present viewers with a sculptural tribute to the larger than life qualities of New York City. The site-specific public art installation will feature 38 giant pink and red roses that climb between three and 25 feet in height, dwarfing the neighboring streetlights and avenue traffic. Colossal blossoms ranging from five to ten feet in diameter at the bud will spring up from steel stems in eight clusters of four to six rose buds each. Drawing inspiration from nature's cycles and seasons, each cluster is complete with an inhabiting brass ladybug, aphid, beetle or bee for an element of both reality and humor in reference to the viewers' own bug's-eye-view of The Roses' gigantic blossoms.
In addition to Ryman's octet of blossoms, the installation will present 20 accompanying sculptures of individual rose petals, the majority of which will be scattered along the Park Avenue Mall between 63rd and 65th Streets. Ryman, familiar with non-traditional materials such as plaster, wire mesh, and PVC tubes, adopted industrial materialsstainless steel, yacht-grade fiberglass resin, automotive paint, and brasscreating sculptures designed to withstand the elements and be enjoyed by viewers throughout the seasons. The Roses will be on view from winter's dormancy through spring's regeneration, suggesting the cycle of nature, as well as the eternally changing landscape of New York.
"With these roses I wanted to do something that was larger than life and site-specific. In my work I always try to combine fantasy with reality. In the case of The Roses, I tried to convey New York City's larger than life qualities through scale; creating blossoms which are imposing, humorous, and hopefully beautiful," comments artist Will Ryman.
"Park Avenue is known for its beautiful floral displays and Will Ryman's massive roses, ranging between three and twenty-five feet in height, will enliven the area throughout the winter, in anticipation of the arrival of the tulips in the spring," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Parks is proud to partner with the Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee to present this exciting, free exhibition of Ryman's artwork in New York City."
A native New Yorker, Will Ryman is internationally known for his large-scale figurative sculptures based on urban scenes and outsized flora. His work steadily incorporates a range of materials including plaster, fiberglass, stainless steel, paper maché, magic sculpt, brass, copper tubing, and cast aluminum. A writer turned artist, Ryman's work is also heavily influenced by the works of absurdist playwrights and philosophers.
His work has been included in numerous exhibitions including Tangled Up In You: Connecting, Coexisting, and Conceiving Identity (2008), at 21c. Museum Foundation, Louisville, Kentucky; Contemporary Figurative Sculpture (2010), at Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York; Sculpture: Selections from the collection of Martin Z. Margulies (2007), at Margulies Warehouse, Miami; Greater New York 2005, at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts (2007), at The American Academy of Arts and Letters; Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 18202009 (2009), at The National Academy of Design, New York; and The Shape of Things to Come (2009), at The Saatchi Gallery, London.
Will Ryman is the latest in a long list of distinguished artists to exhibit on Park Avenue. Previous exhibitions have included Deborah Butterfield, Robert Indiana, Jun Kaneko, Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Yoshitomo Nara and George Rickey.