Ryan Lee Gallery’s focus on both established and emerging photography
PHOTOGRAPHY COMMANDS A POWERFUL PRESENCE IN THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD BOTH AS A MEDIUM FOR EXPRESSION AND EXPERIMENTATION AND A DYNAMIC SECTOR IN THE MARKET FOR BOTH VINTAGE AND CONTEMPORARY WORKS. NEW TECHNOLOGY HAS REVOLUTIONIZED THIS ART FORM AS EXTENSIVELY AS ANY AND OFFERS ARTISTS IN THIS MEDIUM VAST OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE SUCH TECHNICAL AND PICTORIAL CONCERNS AS MONUMENTALITY OF SCALE, DIGITAL MANIPULATION OF IMAGES AND COLOR AND AN EXPLORATION OF CAMERA-LESS LIGHT BASED TECHNIQUES AND LIGHT-SENSITIVE MATERIALS.
IN 2014, WHEN RYAN LEE GALLERY MOVED INTO ITS NEWLY EXPANDED SPACE ON WEST 26th STREET, IT INAUGURATED RL WINDOW, A SPACE VISIBLE AT EYE LEVEL FROM THE HIGH LINE THAT ENGAGES THE ATTENTION OF THE PUBLIC WALKING ALONG THE ELEVATED PARK. OPENING ON OCTOBER 29th, THE GALLERY WILL PRESENT ITS FIRST PERFORMANCE INSTALLATION IN THE RL WINDOW, RECREATING SANDY SKOGLUND’S “HANGERS”, A STAGED TABLEAU FIRST EXHIBITED IN 1979 AT CASTELLI GRAPHICS, OF A HALLUCINATORY ASSEMBLAGE OF MASS-PRODUCED OBJECTS. SKOGLUND, A PIONEER IN THE FASCINATING AREA OF CONSTRUCTED REALITY IN CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY, HAS INFLUENCED A GREAT MANY YOUNGER ARTISTS.THANKS TO RYAN LEE, COLLECTORS AND ARTISTS ALIKE WILL ALSO BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE “TRUE FICTION TWO” IN THE MAIN GALLERY SPACE, FIRST SHOWN AT CASTELLI IN 1987. http://ryanleegallery.com/
KIM SCHMIDT, DIRECTOR OF SALES AT RYAN LEE, IS A PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERT AND BUFF. SHE CONTRIBUTES HER EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE AND PASSION FOR THIS MEDIUM TO THE RL GALLERY AND ITS EXPANSION THAT CAN WELCOME PROJECTS BY ARTISTS WORKING IN THE AREAS OF PHOTOGRAPHY, INSTALLATION, PERFORMANCE AND VIDEO ART.
KIM, THANK YOU FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE LRFA BLOG. DOES THIS MOVE, WHICH DOUBLES THE GALLERY SPACE, INFLUENCE THE GALLERY’S CHOICE OF WORKS THAT ARE EXHIBITED AND THE ARTISTS IT REPRESENTS?
The new space significantly increased our exhibition space, which gave us more flexibility to expand and grow our contemporary program. We were able to launch RLWindow, which engages directly with High Line visitors, and RLProject, providing us with the opportunity to invite artists outside our roster to exhibit in the space.
THE GALLERY REPRESENTS A MIX OF BOTH ESTABLISHED AND EMERGING ARTISTS. WHO ARE SOME OF THE ESTABLISHD ARTISTS THE GALLERY REPRESENTS AND WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THEIR WORK?
We work with artists who have a storied career including Emma Amos, Clifford Ross, May Stevens, and Donald Sultan. Their practices vary widely.
Emma Amos was the first and only woman member of Spiral, an artist collective started by Romare Bearden. Her practice explores her memories of the South and the ways in which she tries to change the order of things. She often confronts race, privilege, and power structures through figuration.
A feminist activist artist and a founding member of Heresies, A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics (1976), artist-activist May Stevens belongs to the first generation of female activist artists, a group who’s experiencing renewed critical attention today. Her long-standing interest in political and social systems of race, gender, and class produced several large series of works in the 1960s that chronicled her protests against patriarchal systems and power structures in the US, as well as the Vietnam War and the country’s racist policies.
Clifford Ross has a long-standing interest in the intersection of art and technology. In 2002, he invented and patented the R1 camera, which has led to major technical advancements. Known for his extensively detailed, vast photographs of landscapes, Ross references themes of Romanticism, frontality, scale, movement, and repetition. A major survey of his work is on view at MASS MoCA through March 2016 and his solo show at the gallery is on view through June 27, 2015.
Donald Sultan is an important artist who first rose to prominence in the late 1970s as part of the “New Image” movement. He is known for his monumental paintings that characteristically employ industrial materials such as tar and linoleum with a formal minimalism that is both weighty and structured. Throughout his career, he has revisited and reinvented the still-life.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, I LOOK FORWARD TO KIM INFORMING US ABOUT THE GALLERY’S STRONG ROSTER OF EMERGING ARTISTS AND THE FUTURE EXHIBITIONS AND PLANS WE MIGHT ANTICIPATE.