Arte Contemporanea

Mark Ryden: The Art of Whipped Cream

Paul Kasmin Gallery is delighted to present three simultaneous projects celebrating
the work of formative “pop-surrealist”, Mark Ryden, this March 2018 in Hong Kong.
Following its enormous success in the United States, Whipped Cream, a collaboration
between Ryden and the American Ballet Theatre that balances high art, fantasy and
ballet, will premiere at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre during the Hong Kong Arts
Festival 2018.
Alongside the performances, Mark Ryden has created Dodecahedron – Quintessence 132, a
sculpture that carries the central eye motif from the Whipped Cream stage into the public
realm. The work will be installed in the Cultural Centre throughout the duration of the
ballet performances and then will move to go on public display at PMQ from March
26th to April 4th, during Art Basel Hong Kong, where audiences can interact with and
experience a taste of the fantastically fairy-tale-like world of the artist’s imagination.
At this exciting moment of celebration of the diversity of Ryden’s practice, Paul Kasmin
Gallery will present a solo exhibition of approximately 16 works by the artist in the
Kabinett section of Art Basel Hong Kong, 2018.
Mark Ryden: The Art of Whipped Cream
Whipped Cream
The American Ballet Theatre’s Hong Kong premier of Whipped Cream will be performed
over the final week of the Hong Kong Arts Festival at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
(Thursday, March 22 – Sunday, March 25). Featuring choreography by Alexei Ratmansky,
former artistic director of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, with the original 20th-Century score
by Richard Strauss, the Ballet’s characters are brought to life through the staging and
costumes designed by Mark Ryden. The whimsical costumes, elaborate set designs,
and creative props all retain the artist’s meticulous attention to detail and intricate
craftsmanship as seen throughout his artistic oeuvre.
Originally titled Schlagobers, the Austrian word for whipped cream, the production
adapts a rediscovered Richard Strauss ballet from 1924 that centers on a boy who,
after overindulging on treats at a pastry shop, falls into a state of delirium in which his
sugary confections come alive. Situated in the realm of Princess Tea Flower and Princess
Praline, Ryden further delves into the darker undercurrents of sweetness, examining the
intoxicating effects of excess.
Dodecahedron – Quintessence 132
Dodecahedron – Quintessence 132 is a new sculptural work that continues Mark Ryden’s
exploration of the Dodecahedron as a unique geometric form with significant mathematical and
philosophical resonance. The Dodecahedron belongs to a small group of five geometric solids
that share a simple set of parameters: the same polygon on every face, and the same number of
faces at each vertex.
Following its installation at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre during the Hong Kong premier of
Whipped Cream, the sculpture will be on public display from March 26th to April 4th at PMQ
in Central Hong Kong. Dodecahedron – Quintessence 132 includes an array of brightly-colored
icons, figures, and symbols on each of the pentagonal panels that form the solid. These symbols
are dominated by the “all seeing eye”, a recurring motif in the work of the artist.
“The Dodecahedron is a special geometric form,
permeated with mystery and connotations of divinity.
Even before I fully understood the significance of the
Dodecahedron, I was instinctively attracted to it, and
it began to show up in my paintings. It is meaningful to
me because it symbolizes a bridge between the physical
world and the intangible realm.”
Mark Ryden
Art Basel Hong Kong
Mark Ryden’s works will be displayed in the Kabinett section of Art Basel Hong Kong
2018, a separately curated, delineated space, acting as a part of the gallery’s main art fair
booth (3D18). This annexed section brings together the aesthetic and playful atmosphere
of Whipped Cream with bespoke walls.
The works presented in the Kabinett section (approximately 16 in total) feature characters
from Whipped Cream and include both preparatory drawings and new paintings of
varying size. A small-scale edition of the Dodecahedron sculpture will sit at the center of
the space, available as an edition of 6 + 3 AP. The enigmatic figures depicted in paintings
such as Swirl Girl (#130) and Whipped Cream Girl (#131) offer a continuation of the artist’s
unique perspective on the beauty of childhood innocence presented amid an underlying
sense of disquiet.
About The Artist
Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark
Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and
low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of
painting, “Pop-Surrealism,” dragging a host of followers in his wake.
Mark Ryden received a BFA in 1987 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His
paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, including a careerspanning
retrospective “Cámara de las maravillas” at The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo
of Málaga, as well as an earlier retrospective “Wondertoonel” at the Frye Museum of Art
in Seattle and Pasadena Museum of California Art.
About Paul Kasmin Gallery
Founded in SoHo in 1989, Paul Kasmin Gallery cultivates a program in which the historic
figures of Post-War and American Modernism are in meaningful dialogue with the evolving
practice of both emerging and established contemporary artists.
The gallery represents and advocates for the legacy of such estates as Constantin Brancusi,
William N. Copley, Max Ernst, Simon Hantaï, Jane Freilicher and Robert Motherwell. It
has developed the careers of and continues to represent significant contemporary artists
such as Walton Ford, Robert Indiana, Iván Navarro, Les Lalanne and Roxy Paine.
With three spaces in Chelsea, New York, the gallery mounts ambitious parallel exhibitions
alongside its participation in major art fairs worldwide. It will inaugurate a new
gallery space at 509 West 27th Street in late 2018.
The gallery is dedicated to furthering academic research engaged with its artists and their
oeuvres, most recently publishing monographs focusing on the relationship between the
work of Alexander Caro and Jules Olitski; David Hockney’s early drawings; the history
of the Alexandre Iolas Gallery; Henry Geldzahler’s seminal 1969 The New York School
exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, and the famed Impasse Ronsin studio complex in
Hong Kong Arts Festival:
Feb 23 – March 24 2018
Whipped Cream
Thursday March 22, 2018 – Sunday March 25, 2018 – 7:30 PM
Hong Kong Cultural Centre,10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Monday March 26 – Wednesday April 4, 2018
No.35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
Art Basel Hong Kong
Paul Kasmin booth 3D18
Wednesday March 28 – Vernissage – Saturday March 31
1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Mariangela Bognolo

Critico, curatore, storico dell'arte, Direttore Artistico di radio Rete Top 95, Capo Dipartimento Beni Culturali CAD Sociale provincia di Venezia, Socio Onorario Benemerito dell'Associazione storico culturale e di spettacolo per la promozione turistica della Campania “ IL CASTELLO ”.

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