Adaptive Radiation

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Rafterweb Scrapwall V2, 2012-2013 Acrylic, Shellac And Enamel On Wood 30 X 10 Feet, Variable © courtesy of the artist and DODGEgallery
Adaptive Radiation

15 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
April 6th, 2013 - May 12th, 2013
Opening: April 6th, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Wednesday-Saturday 11-6, Sunday 12-6, Tuesday by appointment


Diversification of a species or single ancestral type into several forms that are each adaptively specialized to a specific environmental niche. [i]

DODGEgallery is pleased to present Adaptive Radiation, Cordy Ryman’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Ryman will include a major installation scaling the floor and wall of the inner gallery. Other interjections will punctuate the space among wall-hung constructions. 

Stacked blocks, radiating hues, leaning 2x4’s, stapled Velcro, assembled paint sticks and stuck debris populate the crevasses and forms of each of Ryman’s works, as well as the rooms they inhabit. Ryman prefers a logical geometry of repeated forms, while being equally committed to found arrangements that interrupt themselves. The freedom of imperfection and play determine much of his process. Whether one attributes a piece to the category of installation, sculpture or painting seems loosely relevant here; the frame of the room, the squared form of a painting, and the modernist independence of an object are more directive than constraining. Ryman’s works resemble compulsive counting—with hiccups. Unexpected and irregular intrusions of pattern persist.

The repeated blocks that comprise each composition are Ryman’s signature material: 2x4’s. Most works begin with this recognizable building block, which Ryman further cuts, segments, paints, abuts and stacks, never obscuring the original form of the familiar, unremarkable lumber. Mill cut edges are always present and intermixed with the artist’s own saw cuts. Rough surfaces, complete with dings and splinters provide matter-of-fact evidence that mirrors the spontaneous and willful nature of Ryman’s process. Nothing is perfect. 

Working with a range of paint types including fluorescent, acrylic, pearlescent, spray, enamel and other industrial paints, Ryman gives equal priority to color and materiality. He often asks color to physically perform. Muted tones are contrasted by bright edges that bounce hue onto surrounding architecture. Reflected color defines each work’s boundaries, while inhabiting less tangible, exterior spaces. Ryman’s titles often humorously suggest the potential for action, as if each piece required exertion to exist—or could liberate itself from a stationary existence. Perhaps Ryman’s ultimate gesture is making work from his own recycled pieces, as if his art is itself spawning and adapting.

Cordy Ryman was born in 1971 in New York, NY. He received his BFA, with honors, from the School of Visual Fine Arts/Art Education in 1997. His work has been exhibited widely at public institutions including PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island, NY; Visual Arts Center, New Jersey, NJ; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, NY; Esbjerg Museum of Modern Art, Esbjerg, Denmark. Gallery exhibitions include DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY; Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, NY; Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, TX; Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL; Stalke Galleri, Kirke Saaby, Denmark; Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Koln, Germany; and Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden. Ryman was the 2006 recipient of the Helen Foster Barnett Prize from the National Academy Museum. His work has been reviewed in the The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Frieze, BOMB Magazine, Artforum, Art in America, and Time Out NY. In the spring of 2013, Ryman will install a large public commission at Michigan State University. His work is in the collection of the Microsoft Art Collection, Raussmuller Collection, Rubell Family Collection, The Speyer Family Collection, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami. Ryman lives and works in New York, NY.

[i]  The Free Dictionary,