Exhibition - The Big Picture

Wednesday, Mar 10, 2021 at 10:00am

Ryan Lee Gallery
515 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

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RYAN LEE is pleased to present The Big Picture, a group exhibition of large-scale artworks. To start off the year of 2021—which will in likelihood go down as a historic, if not challenging, year—we bring together important works of art whose very dimensions sometimes preclude them from display. Indeed, the sheer sizes of these works count among the factors that simultaneously draw attention, and make them hard to fully grasp. To appreciate the full extent of each artwork, the viewer is constrained to take a step back and take in the fuller image it presents, so often shrouded by its own proximity to the viewer. 

Brought together in this group exhibition, each work makes intelligent use of its scale to communicate disparate insights and point of views. Martine Gutierrez’s arresting gaze is prominently featured in a larger-than-life color diptych of her Body en Thrall series, in which she pushes to dismantle commonly held notions of beauty in regards to gender, culture and race. Using her own image to question the concept of being ‘a real authentic native-born woman,’ the artist manipulates her own gaze to simultaneously captivate and be held captive by those examining her.

Deborah Kass’s Triple Yentl appropriates Andy Warhol’s own cultural pedigree and supplants Elvis Presley’s image for Barbra Streisand’s, as taken from the singer’s unabashedly feminist 1983 film Yentl. With this work, Kass utilizes the immediate evocativeness of pop culture and iconic art historical moments to fuel a distinctively militant agenda. 

A continuation of the repeated flower motif that has occupied him for years, Donald Sultan’s depiction of the flowers sketched on Chinese lanterns come together in this exhibition like “prison bars of artifice.” Inspired by an initial metal grill of these flowers that Sultan had made for a Budapest hotel years prior, the lantern flowers evoke artificiality, beauty and strength in their monumental size and rendering.

Anne-Karin Furunes’s work is represented by one of her signature light-painting portraits of a forgotten woman, discovered by the artist through her archival research. Furunes perforated the images by hand, starting with a monochrome canvas and letting the portrait emerge through negative space. Evoking loss and the complexity of memory, the effects of light on the painting remain unfixed and in constant dialogue with the surrounding environment.

The selection of works, representing a wide spectrum of interests and creative impulses is capped by Clifford Ross’s vigorously innovative approach to photography, resulting in a barrier-pushing vision of the world, as reflected in monumental grandeur by the frothy roar of his Wood Wave LXXXIII.

Exhibition Date: January 28, 2021 - March 20, 2021 

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