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Kathleen Ryan at François Ghebaly
February 18, 2020 - February 25, 2020
On view: February 15–March 29, 2020
Downtown at François Ghebaly, Kathleen Ryan’s fruit sculptures are frozen to appear as if they are perpetually rotting. A large scale grapevine looks shriveled like it’s been left in the sun. Oversized watermelon rinds are scattered around the gallery, green mold forming in spots on their surface. Despite the visual decay, Ryan’s forms are created by applying thousands of beads and stones to a central form. Where mold seems to sprout from her fruits, Ryan delicately shifts from ruby beads to green and white ones. The effect creates a feast for the eyes, intricate details build to create otherworldly landscape-like surfaces. Her idiosyncratic surfaces are mixed with found objects. The rind of her watermelon is made from the husk of an airstream trailer, and as such, the sculptures contain a delicate balance of opulence and grit that evokes an environmental commentary. While her process is meticulous and labor-intensive, the fruit’s decay is perpetually frozen on that ephemeral moment where ripeness turns rancid.