Three years since his last solo show The Art of Whipped Cream (covered) with Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, Mark Ryden (interviewed) is about to open his long-awaited solo debut at Perrotin’s Shanghai space on July 3rd. Jointly organized by Kasmin and Perrotin, Anima Animals will be the Asian debut of one of our all-time favorites, a pioneer in his genre and an artist that blurs the boundaries between what we recognize as high and low brow art.
The presentation will be solely focused on portraying the “enchanted characters that embody artist’s meticulously-realized, signature blend of archetype, kitsch, and narrative mysticism.” The series will feature new versions of the artist’s famous Yak character, as well as adorable new beasts such as Numbat, Bee, Shag, Stoat, Makkuro, Dowradu. Some the 40 new works included in this presentation will feature classical portraits of these pink-cheeked, wide-eyed divine beings, each presented in ornate, hand-carved wooden frames designed by artist himself. Allowing for Ryden’s creativity to roam beyond the format of the panel, these frames add another sense of class and authenticity to this unique series of works. Flawlessly matching subject’s appearance and the exceptionally limited color palette that includes shades of gray, some brown, the signature soft pink, and one blue exception (Salvator Mundi (#137), 2018), each of the pieces is an example of artist’s meticulous and encompassing approach to his practice. At the same time, the works present the artist’s knowledge and deep respect for the traditional painting by “combining the grandeur of Spanish and Italian religious painting with the decorative richness of Old Master compositions and the lush textures of French Neoclassicism.”
Alongside 19 paintings that elevated the total count of Ryden’s paintings produced to date to 154, the show will include a series of graphite and mixed media pieces on paper, which capture and showcase the creative process behind each of these characters. Alongside the oils on panel and works on paper, the exhibition will mark the release of the new, low-edition porcelain sculptures of the new character Bos, available in of three signature colorways. A fully-illustrated catalog will also be published on the occasion of the exhibition capturing the milestone presentation from the legendary, Portland-based artist.
Discuss Mark Ryden here.