Arsenal Contemporary is proud to present Pink Hook Iron Eyes, Kathleen Ryan’s first solo exhibition in New York. In five large sculptures, industrial tools coalesce with tropical fruit, pearls, crystals and flesh. Using jade, iron, rose quartz, brass, pink granite and bowling balls, Ryan creates both material and spectral tensions, where a vocabulary of sensuality and opulence reigns in a world of order and ubiquity.
Cast iron seed pods of a queen palm taper upwards into sculpted eyebolts, pierced with foundry hooks that suspend them from the ceiling. The machinic husks burst open and hang heavily with dense clusters of rose quartz and jade fruit, thousands of crystals set like jewels dripping from golden stems. One is ripening, one is fully ripe, and one hangs open and emptied. The rigid iron skins are both a fertile source and futile container for something erotic and metaphysical.
Shadow, Hammer, Conqueror, Crush/R, name dark bowling balls chained together like a necklace tossed aside a lover’s bed, black pearls once cherished by the men who fingered and named them. Forgotten individuals are bound together, their virility tempered by sentiment, pleasure and romance.
A pink granite angle plate bears a likeness to an ancient throne. A curvaceous naked ass and soft heels are carved into the granite planes where a phantom queen sits, breaking the heavy tool’s precise geometry and recalibrating it to the force of human flesh.
Kathleen Ryan was born in 1984 in Santa Monica, California. She currently lives and works in New York, having recently relocated from Los Angeles. She received her BA from Pitzer College in Claremont, California in 2006 and her MFA from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) in 2014. Ryan has had solo exhibitions at the Theseus Temple at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria (2017), Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, California, (2017), and Josh Lilley Gallery, London, UK (2016).