Home Featured Sculpture Precious Gems Form the Unsightly Rot of Artist Kathleen Ryan’s Decomposing Fruit

Precious Gems Form the Unsightly Rot of Artist Kathleen Ryan’s Decomposing Fruit

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#fruit
#gemstones
#mold
#sculpture

September 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Bad Grapes” (2020), amethyst, aventurine, agate, garnet, pyrite, ruby in zoisite, tektite, tigereye, turquoise, serpentine, obsidian, blackstone, Indian unakite, labradorite, Sierra agate, red agate, black agate, serpentine, quartz, marble, amazonite, rhyolite, calcite, dalmation jasper, glass, steel and stainless steel pins, copper tube, and copper fittings, polystyrene. 59.5 x 90 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

New York-based artist Kathleen Ryan harvests inspiration for her oversized sculptures from natural sources: cherry orchards, vineyards, and mineral mines below the earth’s crust. She’s known for her fruit pieces that appear to be covered in mold, whether in the form of a deflated bunch of grapes or a pair of cherries spotted with fungi.

Ryan portrays the moldy substances through precious and semi-precious gemstones like amethyst, quartz, and marble. The materials’ durability and longevity directly contrast the decay they represent. Whereas the most valuable and lustrous stones cover parts of the fruit, Ryan uses simple glass beads to create the still supple portions, forming the bright red flesh of the cherry or the pockets of yellow rind on the lemon.

A virtual exhibition of the artist’s rotting sculptures, which sometimes span as many as 90 inches wide, is available for viewing from Karma. Follow Ryan on Instagram to see more of her work that explores the beautiful and the unsightly.

 

“Bad Cherries (BFF)” (2020), agate, amazonite, aquamarine, aventurine, amethyst, angelite, brecciaded jasper, garnet, jasper, labradorite, magnesite, moonstone, quartz, red aventurine, rhyolite, serpentine, snow quartz, smoky quartz, spotted quartz, unakite, tiger eye, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, 26 × 12 × 39 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

“Bad Grapes” (2020), amethyst, aventurine, agate, garnet, pyrite, ruby in zoisite, tektite, tigereye, turquoise, serpentine, obsidian, blackstone, Indian unakite, labradorite, Sierra agate, red agate, black agate, serpentine, quartz, marble, amazonite, rhyolite, calcite, dalmation jasper, glass, steel and stainless steel pins, copper tube, and copper fittings, polystyrene. 59.5 x 90 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Bad Cherries (BFF)” (2020), agate, amazonite, aquamarine, aventurine, amethyst, angelite, brecciaded jasper, garnet, jasper, labradorite, magnesite, moonstone, quartz, red aventurine, rhyolite, serpentine, snow quartz, smoky quartz, spotted quartz, unakite, tiger eye, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, 26 × 12 × 39 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

“Pleasures Known” (2019), various semi-precious stones, shells, beads, wood, steel, plastic, hardware, coated polystyrene, iron trailer. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Bad Grapes” (2020), amethyst, aventurine, agate, garnet, pyrite, ruby in zoisite, tektite, tigereye, turquoise, serpentine, obsidian, blackstone, Indian unakite, labradorite, Sierra agate, red agate, black agate, serpentine, quartz, marble, amazonite, rhyolite, calcite, dalmation jasper, glass, steel and stainless steel pins, copper tube, and copper fittings, polystyrene. 59.5 x 90 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Bad Cherries (BFF)” (2020), agate, amazonite, aquamarine, aventurine, amethyst, angelite, brecciaded jasper, garnet, jasper, labradorite, magnesite, moonstone, quartz, red aventurine, rhyolite, serpentine, snow quartz, smoky quartz, spotted quartz, unakite, tiger eye, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, 26 × 12 × 39 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

“Pleasures Known” (2019), various semi-precious stones, shells, beads, wood, steel, plastic, hardware, coated polystyrene, iron trailer. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Pleasures Known” (2019), various semi-precious stones, shells, beads, wood, steel, plastic, hardware, coated polystyrene, iron trailer. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Bad Lemon (Persephone)” (2020), Turquoise, serpentine, agate, smokey quartz, labradorite, tiger eye, tektite, zebra jasper, carnelian, garnet, pyrite, black stone, magnesite, Ching Hai jade, aventurine, Italian onyx, mahogany obsidian, vanadinite, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, 19.5 × 28.5 × 18 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

“Bad Lemon (Tart)” (2020), Citrine, amber, agate, turquoise, fluorite, prehnite, magnesite, Ching Hai jade, quartz, amethyst, garnet, labradorite, white lip shell, serpentine, sesame jasper, zebra jasper, grey feldspar, marble, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, 19 × 16 × 17 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

#fruit
#gemstones
#mold
#sculpture

 

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