February 25th – April 4th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Freight+Volume is excited to announce Constellations, an exhibition of recent work by Cordy Ryman. While continuing his engagement with site-specificity, formal abstraction, and the physicality of his materials, the works on display present a leaner formulation of his practice, made within specific artistic parameters and at a reduced scale. Increasingly aware of the recapitulation of certain “personally significant totems, symbols and homing points” within his practice, Ryman began organizing these smaller works into “clouds” and “constellations”, open ended groupings that accent the work’s cascading progression of motifs and spatial relationships.
Process is the essence of Ryman’s practice, with its pulse and the circumstances of its deployment fundamentally shaping his work. Affirming its autonomy, Ryman allows recurring imagery to accumulate organically, defined by the intuitive thrust of his practice. Though ostensibly concerned with qualities of formalism and compositional strategy, his work is not constrained by pre-established decrees, and rather hinges on the intersections of chance, intuitive expression, and the actions of the artist’s hand. The element of craft is pronounced in Ryman’s work, grounding the hidden motions of his process in tangible alterations of physical form, and perhaps reciprocally shaping the bounds of his process itself. Considerations of construction and manufacture influence the surface appearance of his work as well as their underlying spatial relationships, which are correlated to momentary acts of artistic creation.
The drastically reduced scale and configuration of the pieces in Constellations into groups emphasizes the creative kineses of Ryman’s often reflexive formal modulations, prioritizing the relationships and interplay of his “stock” visual patterns as they reverberate through his practice. They repeat in a rhythmic, circular manner, with like forms reflected in both the details and the general compositional structures of the works, creating parallel spirals of repetition. Abstract variables of time, momentum, and spatial formation are given form; propagating at unpredictable flash points, they take on an almost independent, self-determinant nature. Balancing an awareness of the personal significance of these forms as they evolved over time with a heightened interest in their coaction, Constellations highlights the underlying drives of Ryman’s oeuvre while exploring new trajectories for its development and organization.
Cordy Ryman (b. 1971, New York City) received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1997. Ryman’s work was recently the subject of a year-long solo exhibition, Free Fall, curated by Thomas Micchelli, at Tower 49 Gallery, New York, NY. A catalogue including new scholarship by critic and poet John Yau, an interview with the artist by art critic Jill Conner, and photographs by Jeffrey Sturges, was published to accompany the show.
Ryman’s work has been exhibited at Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY; The Barbara Walters Gallery, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY; Bronx River Arts Center, Bronx, NY; Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; Esbjerg Museum of Modern Art, Esbjerg, Denmark; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; University of Springfield Illinois Galleries, Springfield, IL; and Visual Arts Center, New Jersey, NJ.
In 2006, Ryman was the recipient of the Helen Foster Barnett Prize from the National Academy Museum. In 2013, he installed a large-scale public commission at Michigan State University, and in 2014 he received a Percent for Art Public commission by the NYC Department of Education which was permanently installed at PS. 11 Kathryn Phelan Elementary School, Queens, NY, in July 2017.
The artist’s work has been reviewed in Artforum, The New York Times, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, Frieze, BOMB Magazine, and Time Out NY, among others. Work by the artist is held in collections worldwide, including Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; Microsoft Art Collection; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS; Raussmüller Collection, Basel, Switzerland; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; and The Speyer Family Collection.