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Ryan Lee opens an exhibition of new paintings, drawings and sculpture by Paul Henry Ramirez
Paul Henry Ramirez, PaintPour Paintings, 2017. © Paul Henry Ramirez; Courtesy of the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Ryan Lee presents Fun in the Color, an exhibition of new paintings, drawings and sculpture by Paul Henry Ramirez. Fun in the Color continues Ramirez’s exploration of corporeal forms and processes via biogeomorphic abstraction—a term he coined to describe his particular mix of hard-edged and figurative abstraction.

Ramirez composes his immersive installations as he would a painting, using architecture and color to guide the viewer through space. The exhibition begins with an explosion of color produced by Ramirez’s ebullient clusters of nearly 100 PaintPour paintings. Ranging in size from 8 to 40 inches in diameter, these convex round canvases present slick rings of saturated color that appear to be poured one into the next. While each is a discrete object, recalling the cellular, ocular or mammary, together they form radiating constellations that suggest the full range of infinitude from the microscopic to the galactic. The PaintPour has been an essential component of Ramirez’s installations since it was introduced as part of the solo exhibition Space Addiction at the Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris in 2002. In his first site-specific installation at Ryan Lee, Ramirez combines his PaintPours with a 24-by-10-foot black and green mural. The bold, minimal wall painting evokes playful figural forms that seem to simultaneously caress and disperse the circular paintings.

A second gallery space is dedicated to a dialogic installation of black and white drawings and sculpture. Ramirez’s rich, velvety, black line drawings present linear looping shapes punctuated by round nodules, mimicking the formal vocabulary of the ceramic sculptures they are paired with. Though hard and solid, Ramirez’s unglazed bisque-fired clay sculptures provide a soft, fleshy counterpart to the meandering yet graphic works on paper. Both series emerge organically, through a process of automatic drawing or sculpting; each is a direct product of the artist’s hand realized without prior planning or sketching.

Like the biological systems they reference, Ramirez’s work across media remains interconnected through its fluidity and dynamism. Each component offers a complementary exploration of dimensionality, sensuality, form and space, while maintaining a spirit of playful provocation. Fun in the Color provides a respite from the cold uncertainty of both the current seasonal and political climates, offering a pulsating escape into exuberance, sensation and hue.

Paul Henry Ramirez (b. 1963 El Paso, TX) was recently the subject of a major site-specific solo exhibition, RATTLE, commissioned by Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey and on view from February 2016 to January 2017. Ramirez was also recently included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art exhibition, which traveled to eight additional American art museums through 2017, including the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami, Florida; Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California; Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah; Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock, Arkansas; Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Delaware; Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida; and Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His work has been exhibited at Akron Art Museum; Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield; Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and Whitney Museum, New York, among others. Ramirez’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

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