Cordy Ryman & Kiel Johnson - Construct

Jul 16 – Aug 26, 2011

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Press Release

Mark Moore Gallery presents Construct, a two-person exhibition featuring new works by Kiel Johnson (CA) and Cordy Ryman (NY). Acting as a conversation between the artists' work, Construct explores the materiality and process of contemporary art in an increasingly mechanized and digital age.

Drawn to the romanticism of process, both artists share Neo-Constructivist underpinnings that rekindle notions of assemblage, "specific objects" and spatial engagement. Their choice in material and medium is pivotal to their practice, as they mine the everyday, discarded and peripheral for avenues to explore the substance, matter and presence of the human touch. Ryman fabricates sculptural paintings and installations that allude to a Judd-esque use of environment as art. He appropriates the space into his work with hidden strips of neon paint that toss warm hues upon a white wall, or playful stacks of wooden blocks hidden in an unassuming corner. Organic and spontaneous, his work makes reference to the action of art making while still engaging in the objet d'art – facetiously presenting scraps, glue and shavings as the precious refuse of the action itself. Similarly methodical, Johnson belabors an operational aesthetic, meticulously building and drafting the constituents of mechanical gadgets and commodities that shape our cultural preoccupations. Rooted in the pop spirit of beautifully ordinary, Johnson dissects and scrutinizes a Polaroid camera the way an early scientist would a specimen or Oldenburg would a clothespin. Johnson invites a nostalgic relationship between viewer and object, oftentimes personifying the inanimate to illustrate the social construct of accumulation as an extension of oneself. Crafted from the ordinary materials of art transport, Johnson's cardboard, tape and plywood sculptures offer shrewd insight to role of context in our understanding of the precious and commonplace.

Born in 1975 (Kansas City, MO), Kiel Johnson received his received his MFA at California State University, Long Beach (CA). He has received numerous awards and honors including the Pollock-Krasner Grant, 2008; and the Durfee Foundation ARC Grant, 2007. He has had solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City and Irvine, in addition to museum exhibitions at the Taubman Museum of Art (VA) and McNay Museum (TX). His work appears in several important public and private collections including the Creative Artist Agency (CA), Tubert International (CA), Steve Martin Collection (NY), Todd Oldham (NY), and Sprint World Headquarters (MO). Johnson currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Born in 1971 (New York, NY), Cordy Ryman received his BFA - with honors - from the School of Visual Fine Arts/Art Education (NY). In addition to solo shows in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Munich, Brussels and Gilleleje, he has been featured in exhibitions at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (KS), P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (NY) and Museum of Contemporary Art (FL). His work has been acquired for the public collections of Microsoft (WA), Museum of Contemporary Art (FL), Raussmuller Collection (Basel), Nerman Museum (KS), Rubell Family Collection (FL), Speyer Family Collection (NY) and the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection (WA).

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