Tag Archives: Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets by Mark Ryden (Perrotin Paris)

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Perrotin and Kasmin are presenting a jointly organized exhibition of new work by American artist Mark Ryden (b. 1963, US). Running until 30 July, ‘Animal Secrets’ comprises 10 paintings and 12 works on paper that further develop the artist’s series of portraiture, featuring mysterious and mythical creatures created during lockdown.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Conceived alongside the artist’s most recent exhibition at Perrotin Tokyo, the resulting gallery of enchanted characters embodies the artist’s meticulously-realized signature blend of archetype, kitsch, and narrative mysticism.

Mark Ryden’s imaginative artistic play manifests itself through deep layers of meanings and connotations: mythology and folklore mingle in this baroque universe as if to better explain the secret order of the universe.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

His interest in the subject of animals as spiritual entities was first explored in his series. For his exhibition ‘Anima Animals’ in Shanghai gallery, Mark Ryden completed his paintings in early 2020, just as the entire world went into Covid lockdown. During this time of isolation in his Pacific-Northwest studio, Mark Ryden began a new series that further explored his reverence for these animal beings that act as guides through a landscape of the unknown. The figures in these paintings are neither human nor animal, they are spiritual entities that create a bridge between the human and animal worlds in which so much disharmony exists.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

The artist’s practice is an ode to craftsmanship and refined materiality, from exquisite pictorial imagery to lavishly carved and embellished frames. At the same time, the artist probes into the invisible and secret order of the universe and interprets the life of things that are filled with
spiritual essence.

Mark Ryden explores intimate anxieties and archetypes with a pop surrealist vision. Aesthetics juxtaposed with a certain folkore, taste for the bizarre, his style is distinguished by a remarkable technical mastery, with intricate details and symbols.

Several works in the exhibition are presented as ‘tavolettas,’ a handheld form common in Italy between the 14th and 17th centuries for devotional instruments of consolation.
The Tavoletta series’ composition resembles a full-face representation of Christ and other saints in the tradition of byzantine icons and late medieval portraiture. Animal Secrets - Mark RydenAnimal Secrets - Mark Ryden Animal Secrets - Mark RydenAnimal Secrets - Mark Ryden
A figure rendered in a symmetrical pose in the center of the picture directly looks at the viewer. This time-honored, artistic craftsmanship elevates heavily sentimentalized elements of American tradition and antiquity, collected as though for a cabinet of wonders. The laborintensive canvases deftly rework centuries of art history, combining the grandeur of Spanish and Italian religious painting with the layered richness of Old Master compositions.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Ryden’s enigmatic characters dwell in harmony with nature amidst idealized landscapes. His tranquil sceneries evoke the nostalgia of Romantic imagery with a dream of the lost Golden Age from classical antiquity to the present day. The power of this iconography is in its simplicity and balance, where an unavoidable piercing gaze of the mythical entity entices the beholder into a silent conversation. A longing for harmonious coexistence with nature, with each other, and oneself.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets - Mark RydenAnimal Secrets - Mark Ryden

The friendly surroundings, pastel colours, fluffy coats, pale children with large melancholy eyes, reveal worrying signs. The perception of the half-unveiled mystery becomes a lyrical invitation to dream. The reminiscences of childhood and the mystical essence of cruel tales constitute the essence of a form of pantheistic spirituality through which, under the brush of the painter, the human being tries to reconcile with nature.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets become spiritual guides to connect us with the surrounding world with a sensitive, humanist philosophy.

Animal Secrets - Mark Ryden

Animal Secrets, Mark Ryden, Perrotin Matignon, 2bis avenue Matignon Paris 8.

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Malaga: Mark Ryden’s  “Cámara de las Maravillas”

Mark Ryden @ CAC Malaga

Since its opening last December “Cámara de las Maravillas”, the first solo show in Europe by American artist and father of Pop Surrealism Mark Ryden (1963, Medford, Oregon), has brought thousands of people to the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (CAC) in Málaga, Spain. Curated by Fernando Frances, the exhibitions retraces over 20 years of creation by the artist, and features 55 works including iconic pieces such Incarnation (2009) –which inspired inspiration Lady Gaga’s 2010 meat dress-, most of which are kept in private collections.

Mark Ryden @ CAC Malaga
Mark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC Malaga
Mark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC Malaga

Visitors are greeted by the 2012 painting The Parlor – Allegory of Magic, Quintessence, and Divine Mystery , which anticipates many of the elements to be encountered throughout the exhibition: a magical juxtaposition of hybrid creatures in a theatrical setting surrounded by a myriad of symbols, with a perfect rendering of oil painting techniques. The meticulous and detailed work reminds us of Renaissance and Surrealist masters with a contemporary pop culture twist.

Mark Ryden @ CAC Malaga

The earliest work in the exhibition is the painting Saint Barbie (1994), while the most recent, the sculpture Wood Meat Dress (2016), was created especially for the Málaga show. From the young girl worshiping a goddess-like Barbie doll to the eerie, sad-eyed sculpted lady, we can appreciate the evolution of Mark Ryden’s distinctive portraiture of the female characters through the years.

Mark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC Malaga

The show presents all the different series that the artist has exhibited in the past –The Meat Show (1998), Bunnies & Bees (2001), Blood (2003), The Tree Show (2007), The Snow Yak Show (2009), The Gay 90’s (2010), The Gay 90’s West (2014), and Dodecahedron (2015)— as well as the original artwork for the cover of Michael Jacksons’ album Dangerous and three delicate porcelain figures made in the last five years.

Mark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC Malaga

Science and the destruction of Nature are a recurring theme within  Mark Ryden’s  body of work.
Mark Ryden @ CAC Malaga
Mark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC Malaga
Mark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC Malaga

The big exhibition space of the CAC has been articulated in a way that allows the visitor to see many of the pieces at the same time, encouraging many dialogues and correspondences not also between the works, but also between their magnificent frames. These have never been a secondary element for the artist, who designs many of them himself so they perfectly match and complete each of the paintings.

Mark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC Malaga

Visitors are invited the view this cabinet of curiosities with the eyes of a child, letting the imagination run free. Fans of Mark Ryden will be delighted to see together such a careful selection of old as well as new pieces, while those unfamiliar with the artist have here a wonderful opportunity to dive into his enigmatic universe, which is very much alive and still evolving.

Mark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC MalagaMark Ryden @ CAC Malaga
Mark Ryden @ CAC Malaga

View the full set of pics here

Mark Ryden – “Cámara de las Maravillas”
Until March 5,2017
CAC Malaga