I don’t know why seeing Darth Bee this Honey Nut Cheerios Box surprised me. But it did.
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.
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.
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.
This one is my favorite. Ryden’s attention to detail is crazy great.
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.
Anatomia, also realized as a porcelain sculpture.
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.
Multiple Eyes and a Fetus.
Behold, the Primeval Sea Bed, complete with Trilobite, ancestor to the modern-day cockroach.
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.