Cordy Ryman‘s new work, which is currently on view in the solo exhibition, Hail to the Grid, at Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, reflects the form and pattern of the minimalist tradition, but at the same time celebrates a freedom that balks at the pervasive inaccessibility of the more polished work of his contemporaries and predecessors. Bright, rough and intentionally unfinished, Ryman’s paintings and sculptural installations stack like Legos across the floor and walls of Mark Moore Gallery.
I recently got the chance to talk to the artist about the show, and I asked him about this pattern of leaving the cruder aspects of his work visible—dried glue dripping from seams, cardboard backing and industrial staples unhidden, product numbers revealing lumber to have Czech origins. As Ryman explained to me, “There is always a back and forth that happens when painting,” and that the unfinished aspects are “usually not planned in advanced so much as selectively and intuitively left.” “I think aesthetically it makes a piece more interesting if there is a bit of imbalance or tension in the composition,” he says, “Beyond pure aesthetics I think it’s important that it is evident that they are made by hand, and are not perfect. People and ideas are not perfect.” Indeed. An illustration of this sentiment would be Ryman’s lanky sculpture, Yellow Spine 2, which crawls up the seam where two of the gallery walls meet, beautiful but exposed—like a skinny, self-conscious girl tucked into a corner at the school dance.
Cordy Ryman lives and works in New York. He received his BFA from The School of Visual Arts in New York. His work has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, including recently in solo shows at DCKT Contemporary, New York; Stalke Up North, Gilleleje, Denmark; Traver Gallery, Seattle and Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York as well as group shows at Esbjerg Museum of Modern Art, Esbjerg, Denmark and P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center, Long Island City, NY. Ryman has been featured in the New York Times, Art in America, Beautiful/Decay and elsewhere.