I Went to Mark Ryden’s Dodecahedron Exhibit, And it Was Really Crowded

Aurora With Crowd
All Photos By Gail

Mark Ryden’s much-anticipated new exhibit, Dodecahedron, opened last Thursday at Paul Kasmin Gallery on 10th Avenue, and what a happening it was! A line of hardcore fans began snaking down the block 30 minutes before the doors even opened! Once we were let inside, promptly at 6 PM, it quickly became a mob scene and it was virtually impossible to get clear shots of any of the art, perhaps best exemplified by the photo above, where the epic, 12-foot high painting, Aurora, is obscured as high as 5 feet off the ground. It was evident that we would have to make a return trip for blogging purposes, which we did this weekend.

Dodecahedron Installation View

For this exhibition, Ryden created his first sculpture cast from bronze, entitled Self Portrait as a Dodecahedron. Measuring one meter in height, the work consists of twelve pentagonal panels that join together to form the show’s titular Dodecahedron. Each panel is individually cast and features images and motifs that have been prevalent throughout the artist’s oeuvre such as; the Tree, the Eye, the Fetus, the Bee, the Ammonite, and Abraham Lincoln.


Here are some shots of the Dodecahedron’s various faces.

Bee and Baby

Abe Lincoln


The gallery space in which the Dodecahedron sits also displays framed study drawings for many of the oil paintings in the exhibit, which are featured prominently in the front gallery.

Horned Baby

This one is my favorite. Ryden’s attention to detail is crazy great.

Dymaxion Principle
Dymaxion Principle

Rock Skirt
Rock Skirt

Girl Looking at Amoeba

The painting above is entitled Euglena, which refers not to the little girl, but to the single-cell, flagellate organism on the table. On closer inspection, you can see that it bears anthropomorphic characteristics.

Euglena Detail
Euglena Detail

Guts Dress

Anatomia, also realized as a porcelain sculpture.

Guts Dress Sculpture

Aurora Full

And now let’s take a closer look at the star of the show, Aurora. A true masterpiece, Aurora depicts a prepubescent girl, standing armpit-high in a still body of water, the surface of which cloaks a primeval undersea world, rife with Ryden’s signature symbolism, and many other cool things.


Look, it’s a little Manatee hiding among the coral.

Eyes Detail

Multiple Eyes and a Fetus.

Bee Detail

A Bee.

Primeval Sea Bed

Behold, the Primeval Sea Bed, complete with Trilobite, ancestor to the modern-day cockroach.

Aurora Frame Detail

Even the frame is a work of art.

Mark Ryden’s Dodecahedron will be on Exhibit Through Jan 23rd, 2016  at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 10th Avenue (Corner of 27th Street) in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Dodecahedron Signage

Exhibit Poster

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