Representation, skill, and fantasy all come together in the works of L.A.-based artist Mark Ryden, who recently unveiled his newest paintings — and sculpture — in a thought-provoking exhibition. Where can you find it?
Relying upon a variety of historical traditions, artist Mark Ryden has established a career through his eclectic imagery. “Dodecahedron” — Ryden’s latest solo exhibition — opened on December 10 at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York City. Via the exhibition press release, Ryden “combines the grandeur of Spanish and Italian religious painting with the decorative richness of Old Master compositions and the lush textures of French Neo-Classicism. Expanding on these concepts, the artist’s paintings focus on ‘the soul confronting its physical form’ as represented by his reoccurring feminine child figure, he calls ‘anima’ or ‘soul’ figure. These anima figures appear under different guises, such as in ‘Anatomia,’ 2015 and ‘Aurora,’ 2015. For the artist, they represent the part of us that wonders at the elegant mathematics that exists underneath everything and the sacred geometry that constructs our physical world.”

Mark Ryden, “Dymaxion Principle,” 2015, oil on canvas, 18 x 44 in. (c) Paul Kasmin Gallery 2015

 Mark Ryden, “Anatomia,” 2014, oil on canvas, 54 x 30 in. (c) Paul Kasmin Gallery 2015

The show will also feature Ryden’s first ever sculpture, a 12-sided dodecahedron cast in bronze. “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,” as the gallery states. Whether it Ryden’s existential concept, his immense talent, or both, the exhibition is sure to be a fascinating and entertaining visit.

 Mark Ryden, “Anatomia,” 2014, oil on canvas, 54 x 30 in. (c) Paul Kasmin Gallery 2015

“Dodecahedron” opened on December 10 and will be on view through January 23.
To learn more, visit Paul Kasmin Gallery.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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