Will Ryman

Will Ryman at Fairchild featured rose clusters, rose petals and insects of unexpected size―a key element of Ryman's work. Ryman hopes to confront the audience with the unexpected. In his own words, Ryman explains his view that much of life is dealing with unexplainable and unexpected circumstances, "I use found objects and construction materials to convey my message, much of which is auto-biographical, that the human condition is absurd and it references Pop, Street and Conceptual art along with Absurdist thinkers and philosophy.”

 

66th Street, 2011 

Will Ryman 
Fiberglass, stainless steel, marine paint, brass 
7’7” x 11’ 7 3/4”
Courtesy of the Paul Kasmin Gallery 

Mr. Ryman first displayed this piece on 66th Street on Park Avenue, New York. Park Avenue is an area known for extravagance and commercialism, adjectives that could also be applied to the modern day rose. The artist felt by creating a massive grouping of absurd, oversized roses and displaying them on Park Avenue he could bring the two symbols together and make them accessible to the common man. 

Exhibited near Center Lake 

Origin, 2011 

Will Ryman
Fiberglass, stainless steel, marine paint, brass
9’ x 12'
Courtesy of the Paul Kasmin Gallery 

The name Origin was bestowed on this piece because it was the first of three monochromatic pieces which include Icon and Encore that attempt to remove the symbolism of the rose. Stripped away are the ideas of romance and elitism, replaced by a new symbol of high art. 

Exhibited near the Victoria Pond. 

 

 

Icon, 2011 

Will Ryman
Fiberglass, stainless steel, marine paint
30’ x 12’
Courtesy of the Paul Kasmin Gallery 

This piece was placed in an important and high place in the garden to help convey its message of being an important symbol. The word icon means a representation of something much greater and Mr. Ryman wanted to show the rose as moving away from a symbol of the elite to a representation of something truly greater―art. 

The height of this piece lends itself to the idea that its petals have been blown far and wide and are represented by the many pieces found in the lake and surrounding area.

Exhibited in the Overlook.

Encore, 2011

Will Ryman
Fiberglass, stainless steel, marine paint, brass
9’ x 12’
Courtesy of the Paul Kasmin Gallery 

The series of monochromatic roses that began with Origin and moved to Icon culminates in Encore. The bold, primary colors of each piece are a nod to art history and technique. The dark blue of Encore and its location in a shady and quiet spot in the Garden are meant to represent a curtain closing on the pieces, an ending.  

Exhibited in the Palmetum 

 

Ants, 2011 

Will Ryman
Brass
21” x 12” x 12”
Courtesy of the Paul Kasmin Gallery

Fifteen giant ants surround the roots of the largest Albizia of its kind in Florida. Giant ants and a giant tree make for a surreal scene in the Garden.

 

Bees, 2011

Will Ryman
Brass, stainless steel
32” x 36” x 18”
Courtesy of the Paul Kasmin Gallery 

Two bees float and buzz their way through the garden as symbols of freedom and the notion of a mixing of ideas.

 

 

About the Artist

Will Ryman (b. 1969) was born in New York,New York to a most creative family. Ryman's father is an acclaimed minimalist artist, his mother is an abstract expressionist and former professor and both Ryman's brothers are artists as well. Ryman launched his first career as a script writer and playwright in 1990 and over the next twelve years wrote short, fast-paced plays that shared the philosophies of Absurdist thinkers such as Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett. 

After a bout of writer's block, Ryman made a vision he had a reality, filling his home studio with various settings and figural sculptures for an audience to quietly walk amongst, creating their own narratives based on each person’s unique life experiences. He held a party there for his  friends and one, a gallery owner, was fascinated with his sculptural figures and asked if he would be interested in a show at her gallery. That successful exhibit occurred in 2004, leading to Ryman’s second career as an artist specializing in sculpture and installation art. 

Ryman's work was then shown at the Museum of Modern Art (PS-1) in its Greater New York 2005exhibition. His figures were based on the human condition as observed on the streets of New York City. Significant works followed, including The Bed and The Dinner Party, his last figural work, an astoundingly creative interpretation of “The Last Supper." Ryman then transitioned from figuration to outdoor installations, with his exhibition A New Beginningat the Marlborough Gallery, New York, in late 2009.  His first major outdoor installation, Will Ryman—The Roses on Park Avenue, debuted in January 2011 on the central medians of Park Avenue, New York City. 

Art at Fairchild is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lin Lougheed and Aaron I. Fleischman.