RYAN Mc NAMARA
8 January to 28 February 2015
On 8 January 2015, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location Gently Used, an exhibition curated by Piper Marshall of new work by RYAN Mc NAMARA.
A celebrated artist whose work spans sculpture, video, photography, dance, and performance, Mc Namara brings wit and a historical consciousness to bear on our technologically mannered lives. In Gently Used, Mc Namara stages the relationship between “live” art and its math and aftermath, between event space and gallery space, giving special attention to the rub between the handmade prop and the mass-produced object. Like Mc Namara himself, all the works here are used — touched, felt, lived, riven.
Plastic works function as entertainers, actors who dance and move, enter and exit the stage, mark and miss their cues. The sources for Mc Namara’s gallery work are the same specialized materials that comprise his choreographed, live work: dancers’ costumes, props, archival images, promotional ephemera. He re-fashions this matter into collages and reliefs that extend from the wall, tumble over pedestals, emerge from the ceiling, and literally climb from their frames.
Gently Used is a relay powered by the mechanism of performance. Event generates material, material becomes art object, art object performs, only to be used as prop once again. The installation at Mary Boone Gallery reflects the cycle’s complex layers of material support, with special consideration given to the current trigger-happy nature of transmission and reception. This staging reconsiders the gallery space, today too often delimited as an anemic accessory to the still or screenshot. These works may look good in pictures, but the picture is not their final destination.
Ryan Mc Namara is a visual artist whose situation-specific work plays with conservative relationships between performance and audience. His most recent project was the ambitious, acclaimed MEEM 4 Miami: A Story Ballet About the Internet. Commissioned by Art Basel, it ran 2–4 December 2014 at the Grand Theater in Miami Beach. In 2013 he won Performa’s Malcolm McLaren Award for the first iteration of MEEM: A Story Ballet About the Internet. In July 2014, his commission for The High Line, Misty Malarky Ying Yang, re-envisioned Jimmy Carter’s maligned “Malaise Speech” as a traveling dance spectacular.
The current exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, is on view through 28 February 2015. For further information, please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery, or visit our website www.maryboonegallery.com.