Kathleen Ryan

Kathleen Ryan (b. 1984, Santa Monica, California) recasts found and handmade objects as spectacular, larger-than-life meditations on consumer society, desire, and the fine line between kitsch and class. These materials are often at odds with the subjects they represent: delicate, sensual grapes are rendered with heavy, utilitarian concrete; mold colonies are composed of semiprecious gemstones. As in Dutch Vanitas paintings, the relics of the everyday—seed pods, jewelry, domestic fixtures, moldy fruit—become tongue-in-cheek allegories for sexuality, decadence, and the cycle of life. Ryan lives and works in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Ryan has had solo exhibitions at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2023); François Ghebaly, Los Angeles (2023, 2020, 2017); Karma, New York (2021); New Art Gallery, Walsall, United Kingdom (2019); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2019); and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (2017). Her work is held in the collections of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker, Norway; LAM Museum, Lisse, Netherlands; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; among others.

Ryan will have a comprehensive survey exhibition at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany in 2024.

Photographer: Logan Jackson

Photographer: Logan Jackson

Born in 1984, Santa Monica, California
Lives and works in New Jersey



MFA, University of California, Los Angeles


BA, Pitzer College, Claremont, California



Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany (forthcoming)


Karma, New York, Shell

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut, Aldrich Projects: Kathleen Ryan, Head and Heart

François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, Beachcomber


Josh Lilley, London, Red Rose


Karma, New York


François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, Bad Fruit


The New Art Gallery, Walsall, United Kingdom
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cultivator


Josh Lilley, London, Seven Sculptures at Sunset
Cc Foundation, Shanghai, Man Made Moon


Arsenal, New York, Pink Hook Iron Eyes
Theseus Temple, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Bacchante
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, Weightless Again


Josh Lilley, London



Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Tender Loving Care

The Wearhouse, Dallas, Room by Room: Concepts, Themes, and Artists in The Rachofsky Collection

Paris+ par Art Basel, Jardin des Tuileries, La Cinquième Saison, curated by Annabelle Ténèze

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, Spirit in the Land

Bortolami Gallery, New York, Junkyard of Dreams


Gallery 125 Newbury, New York, Wild Strawberries

Tanya Bonakdar, New York, Fruiting Bodies

The Royal Academy, London, Summer Exhibition

Lyndhurst Mansion, New York, Women’s Work

Apalazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy, Strange Attractors, The Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Art, Vol. 3: Lost In Space, Organized by Bob Nickas


Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Bodywork: Discomfort and Existence

Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, The Stomach and the Port

Josh Lilley, London, Time Takes a Cigarette


Cc Foundation, Shanghai, Wild Cinema


François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, Bad Peach
Josh Lilley, London, Stains on a Decade
Arsenal Contemporary, Montreal, Alternate Realities – Selection of Works from the Collection
Desert X, Coachella Valley, California


Katonah Museum of Art, New York, Outrageous Ornament: Extreme Jewelry in the 21st Century
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, Liquid Dreams
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, Sculptures
Tanya Bonakdar, New York, Pine Barrens
Brand Library and Art Center, Glendale, California, Vision Valley, organized by The Pit
Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, Spieltrieb


Simon Lee Gallery, New York, The Leftovers, curated by Franklin Melendez
Wentrup Gallery, Berlin, L’Été plus vaste que l’Empire


Josh Lilley, London, Water Biscuit
The Pit, Glendale, California, Flavr Savr*
Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College, Los Angeles, Performing the Grid


Grice Bench, Los Angeles, Jeff
François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, SOGTFO
Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, California, 71st Scripps Ceramics Annual


Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, Artificial Complexion
Favorite Goods, Los Angeles, 2x2x2: Nevine Mahmoud & Kathleen Ryan
Josh Lilley Gallery, London, Control Lapse
Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, The White Album
Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CK1 Daily
3 Days Awake, Los Angeles, A Meerkat’s Whistle
Helmuth Projects, San Diego, Temecula
New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, MFA #3
Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, California, Corporeal Impulse


New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, MFA Preview
Irvine Fine Arts Center, California, Wall Painting


Actual Size, Los Angeles, Qualified by Light
Los Angeles,Kottabos, curated by Marina Pinsky
ForYourArt, Los Angeles, The Planter Show


Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California, My head is falling out so I’m standing on my stomach
The Notary Public, New York, HAKKA


workspace, Los Angeles, Tasteful Improvements
Infernoesque, Berlin, Hollowing


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Cc Foundation and Art Centre, Shanghai
Collection Majudia, Montreal

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker, Norway

LAM Museum, Lisse, Netherlands
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Rosa Schapire Art Prize, Hamburger Kunsthalle
Dean’s Award, UCLA
D’Archy Hayman Scholarship, Los Angeles
Laura Andreson Scholarship, Los Angeles
UCLA Art Council Award, UCLA
Graduate Division Award, UCLA
University Fellowship, UCLA
Keck Scholarship, Pitzer College, Claremont, California


Kathleen Ryan
Bad Fruit
Interview by Ali Subotnick
Karma, New York, 2020
144 pages, hardcover
10 1⁄4 × 8 1⁄4 inches