Kathleen Ryan

Kathleen Ryan (b. 1984, Los Angeles, CA) is a New York-based sculptor. Insistent on their physicality, Ryan’s sculptures recast found and handmade objects as spectacular, larger-than-life hieroglyphs of Americana. Her mediums, which range from bowling balls to a deconstructed Airstream camper, are both familiar and iconographic, and seemingly lost in time. 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 semi-precious 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.

After studying archaeology and art as an undergraduate at Pitzer College, Ryan pursued a Master of Fine Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied under artists Charles Ray and Catherine Opie. She has held institutional solo exhibitions at New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK (2019); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, USA (2019); Cc Foundation & Art Centre, Shanghai (2018); and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (2017).

Her work is held in public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California; and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.

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



MFA, University of California, Los Angeles


BA, Pitzer College, Claremont, California



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



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

APALAZZOGALLERY, 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


Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Cc Foundation and Art Centre, Shanghai
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Arsenal Contemporary, Montreal

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