New York—Paul Kasmin Gallery, in conjunction with New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Fund for the Park Avenue Sculpture Committee, announces 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.
Installation of Will Ryman’s The Roses will take place on the Park Avenue Mall beginning Friday, January 21 at 9pm and continuing through Sunday, January 23 at 6pm. For more information and details, please contact FITZ & CO.*
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 materials—stainless steel, yacht-grade fiberglass resin, automotive paint, and brass—creating 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, 1820–2009 (2009), at The National Academy of Design, New York; and The Shape of Things to Come (2009), at The Saatchi Gallery, London.
Also upcoming, Ryman’s recent work, The Dinner Party (2010), will be on view at The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Miami, Florida during Art Basel Miami Beach. Additional works by Ryman will also be featured at the Paul Kasmin Gallery’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2010.
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. To view a complete history of art on Park Avenue visit nycgovparks.org/art and fundforparkavenue.org.
Will Ryman: The Roses is presented under the auspices of The Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee and New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation, who work together to present a variety of exhibitions by renowned artists on this unique venue. The Fund for Park Avenue relies on community support to plant, light and maintain the trees and flowers on the Park Avenue Malls.
The City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation Public Art Program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs.
Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks.
Paul Kasmin Gallery represents several generations of internationally recognized modern and contemporary painters, sculptors, designers, photographers, and filmmakers. Since its inception in 1989, the Gallery has presented a program of exceptional one-person exhibitions and dynamic group shows and is well know for its commitment to public sculpture projects. For more information, please visit paulkasmingallery.com.