Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce Will Ryman, America on view at the gallery’s 515 West 27th Street, New York location, 28 February – 30 March, 2013. Throughout the month of March, Ryman will also exhibit his large-scale sculpture, Bird (2012),crafted from real and fabricated steel nails at the Flatiron Plaza located at Broadway and 23rd Street in collaboration with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. America is inspired by the artist’s personal methodological exploration of the origins of capitalism within the scope of American history. Ryman uses found objects ranging from consumer products to industrial and hardware materials, to create masterful and intricate sculptures. Ryman’s installation questions both the history and the evolution of consumer capitalism in America. Through his creative process, Ryman strives to create work that explores the contradictions of the human condition.
Ryman appropriates Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood cabin to stand as an iconic emblem of American socio-economic conflict during the Civil War and its eventual transformation. The cabin, coated in gold resin, is composed of an amalgam of American products and objects, each possessing their own history and American symbolism. Ryman’s cabin invites the viewer to literally step into the structure, allowing for the absorption of the meticulous detailed inlay of gold resin-coated objects. The shackles and chains that make up the cabin’s foundation are covered with cross-shaped bulletproof glass, juxtaposing American religious culture and America’s involvement in the slave trade. The cabin as a whole marks a change in industrial and consumer products spanning over several centuries. The walls, trusses, roof and fireplace are composed of a variety of objects ranging from bullets-collected from historic battles such as the Civil War and WWII, pharmaceuticals, phone parts, cotton and corn, in addition to modern-day luxury products. . The materials are all arranged in geometric shapes, imbuing a modernist aesthetic and structure within the cabin.