Ryman’s sculpture embodies DIY aesthetics raised to a high level of sophistication while remaining modest and self-effacing.
In his best works Cordy Ryman makes something visually arresting out of ordinary materials and paint — stuff you can buy in a hardware store.
It seems a little unfair to encumber an exhibition with a title like OK Great REALLY this is ALSO RIDICULOUS. With its overtones of exasperation and disparagement, the phrase sends confusing signals about what’s in store and how seriously to take it. But the show hooks you in an instant and holds you for a good, long time.
Memories fade. That’s the one good reason, as far as I can see, to compile an end-of-year list. It’s sometimes startling to retrace what attracted my attention over the course of a year; it is also instructive to determine where such a miscellany of shows fits in with ongoing areas of interest, and which ones, in hindsight, merited the time it took to review them.
This week’s news of a major gift of Cubist works — possibly the most important in the world — from Leonard Lauder to the Metropolitan Museum of Art marks a landmark event for New York’s cultural heritage, but it also redirects our attention, however fleeting, on what the movement was about and what it means for art today.
What’s the difference between the lackadaisical and the slapdash? Apparently, a great deal.
Although he is employing the same strategies and materials that he used in his 2010 solo exhibition at DCKT Contemporary on the Lower East Side, I found the just-opened Cordy Ryman: Shuffle / Scrap / Echo at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey to be a far more convincing excursion.
If the art world has been about globalism for quite a while I can say that is more true now than ever — if that’s possible.