Works

Press Release

Ryman to Unveil New Works Among World-Renowned Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Including a 30-foot bloom, Ryman’s Tallest to Date

On View at Fairchild
Starting December 1, 2011 – May 31, 2012
During Art Basel Miami Beach

August 30, 2011 (Miami, FL) — Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden presents the unveiling of new, large-scale works by American artist Will Ryman, as part of its renowned, annual visual art program. Ryman’s largest outdoor exhibition to date includes three new monochrome rose sculptures in blue, yellow, and red and each range from five to 30 feet in height. The sculptures, entitled Encore, Origin, and Icon, respectively, are composed of painted stainless steel, stainless steel mesh, fiberglass resin, and nidacore.

Additionally, Ryman has created several oversized petals that will delicately float on the serene ponds and grassy areas while doubling as lounge chairs. The petals are constructed out of fiberglass resin and nidacore. On a whimsical note, Ryman will place 15 ants and seven bees— all made of brass—perched high up in a number of Fairchild’s majestic trees, appearing as keen observers of the sculptures below. The exhibition harmonizes with Fairchild’s lush, tropical landscape designed by William Lyman Phillips, a key member of Central Park’s Frederick Olmstead architectural group. 

“Will’s work is a revelation. Roses symbolize pure beauty and elegance; therefore, the combination of the art’s symbolism, the beauty of the roses, and the stunning natural setting of Fairchild’s garden, form an artistic trifecta. The monochromatic palette of his works are interesting in that they create an artistic tension with the colorful juxtaposition of the colorful tropics,” said Nannette Zapata, Fairchild’s Chief Operating Officer and Art Curator. 

One of the new sculptures will be the tallest bloom ever created by Ryman, to stand 30 feet tall in bright, fire-engine red. Its hue and height will intensify the contrast to the organic nature of Fairchild’s 83 acres of lavish rare plant collections. 

“By changing the rose’s color, it becomes something recognizable as inorganic,” says Ryman. “Fairchild is a perfect place to unveil these new works, because it will highlight the alien or synthetic nature of the monochromes while emphasizing the natural beauty of the Garden.”

Accompanying the synthetic blooms, Ryman has created 25 accompanying sculptures of individual rose petals that will be placed in the ponds and on the grasses, as if they had fallen from the sky, adding to the dichotomy between organic and inorganic and enhancing the viewers experience as they visit these man-made objects in relation to the natural surroundings. Visitors will also be able to lounge on the oversized petals placed around the garden, reflecting Ryman’s flair for the dramatic and absurdly wonderful.

Ryman’s work has always sought to play with the scale of natural objects. This exhibition is a continuation on the theme of the rose, but this time abstracted from nature, to the realm of the conceptual. “I wanted to take an organic subject and change it into something that was obviously man-made,” says Ryman. “It’s a comment on the commercialization of a natural object for consumption, which is something I want to explore with this new monochrome series.” 

Will Ryman is internationally known for this large-scale figurative sculptures based on urban scenes and oversized flora. His work incorporates a range of materials including plaster, fiberglass, stainless steel, paper maché, magic sculpt, brass, copper tubing, and cast aluminum. A writer turned artist, Ryman’s work is also heavily influenced by the works of absurdist playwrights and philosophers.

Ryman’s most recent exhibition, “The Roses” opened in fall 2010 where his sculptures adorned the malls of Park Avenue in Manhattan. His work has also been included in numerous exhibitions including Tangled Up in You Connecting, Coexisting, and Conceiving Identity (2008), at 21c. Museum Foundation, Louisville, Kentucky; Contemporary Figurative Sculpture (2010), at Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York; Sculpture: Selections from the collection of Martin Z. Margulies (2007), at Margulies Warehouse, Miami; Greater New York 2005, at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts (2007), at The American Academy of Arts and Letters; Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820-2009 (2009), at The National Academy of Design, New York; and The Shape of Things to Come (2009), at The Saatchi Gallery, London.

He is currently represented by the Paul Kasmin Gallery.

About the Art Program at Fairchild
Will Ryman at Fairchild is part of an annual exhibition that celebrates art and culture. The Art Program supports Fairchild’s conservation work and educational and science outreach programs and is committed to cultural enhancement in South Florida. Fairchild’s Art Program has exhibited the works of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, Yayoi Kusama, Mark di Suvero, Roy Lichtenstein, Dale Chihuly, Fernando Botero, Yoko Ono, and Kris Martin. The Fairchild Art Program is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lin Lougheed, the Aaron I. Fleischman Foundation and the Paul Kasmin Gallery.

About Fairchild
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. It is one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation. Fairchild has field programs in over 20 countries throughout the tropical world including the Indonesia, South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Southeast Asia. Fairchild’s palm and cycad collections are considered the greatest collections in the world and are nationally recognized by the American Public Gardens Association. Fairchild has the largest education program in a metropolitan area reaching more than 100,000 schoolchildren in 2011. Fairchild hosts popular events like the Chocolate, Mango, Orchid, Food and Garden, Ramble and Edible Garden Festivals, as well as an annual art exhibition, concerts, plant shows and sales, evening events and more. Fairchild is a not-for-profit organization with 45,000 members. Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, Florida, 33156. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors, $12 for children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under and Fairchild members. 

Information at http://www.fairchildgarden.org and on Facebook and Twitter.

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