• Installation view of Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator, at MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2019
  • Installation view of Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator, at MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2019
  • Kathleen Ryan, Mother of Pearl (detail), 2019
  • Installation view of Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator, at MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2019
  • Kathleen Ryan, Galaxie 300, 2019
  • Kathleen Ryan, Galaxie 300 (detail), 2019
  • Kathleen Ryan, Cultivator, 2019
  • Kathleen Ryan, Cultivator (detail), 2019
  • Installation view of Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator, at MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2019
Reference Gallery

Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator

ShowingFebruary 8, 2019 - April 21, 2019

Reference Gallery

New York-based Kathleen Ryan’s work in sculpture is distinguished by her virtuosic grasp of materials, ranging from poured concrete, cast iron, carved marble, and precious stones, to found objects such as granite machine-mount blocks or bowling balls. Ryan engages with formal sculptural concerns such as volume, weight, pressure, balance, and line, while subtly alluding to the materials’ historical and economic underpinnings, along with frequent references to the human body and classical motifs. Many of her recent works were cast at a nearly defunct iron foundry in Pennsylvania, and in part engage with a declining manufacturing industry that has shaped the economic and social trajectory of communities across the United States. Varying from poetic to deadpan, Ryan’s works are rendered effortlessly light and delicate in spite of their massive industrial materials and manifest weight. Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator is the artist’s North American institutional premiere and will include a number of new works.

Kathleen Ryan (b. 1984, Santa Monica) lives and works in New York. Solo exhibitions of her work have been mounted at Cc Foundation, Shanghai; Arsenal, New York; Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna; Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles; and Josh Lilley, London. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at Simon Lee Gallery, New York; Wentrup Gallery, Berlin; The Pit, Los Angeles; Various Small Fires, Los Angeles; and many others. She holds an MFA degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator is organized by Henriette Huldisch, Director of Exhibitions & Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center.

Download the Press Release

Download the Education Brochure

Exhibitions at the List Center are made possible with the support of Fotene Demoulas & Tom Coté, Audrey & James Foster, Idee German-Schoenheimer, Joyce Linde, Jane & Neil Pappalardo, Cynthia & John Reed, and Terry & Rick Stone. In-kind media sponsorship provided by 90.9 WBUR.  Additional support for the List Center presentation of Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator was generously provided by the Henry Moore Foundation, Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles and Josh Lilley, London.

General operating support is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Council for the Arts at MIT; Philip S. Khoury, Associate Provost at MIT; the MIT School of Architecture + Planning; the Mass Cultural Council; and many generous individual donors. The Advisory Committee Members of the List Visual Arts Center are gratefully acknowledged.

  • Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

  • Mother of Pearl, 2019
    Iron, abalone shell
    93.5 x 39 x 15 in.
    Courtesy the artist.

    Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

  • Mother of Pearl (detail), 2019
    Iron, abalone shell
    93.5 x 39 x 15 in.
    Courtesy the artist.

    Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

  • Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

  • Galaxie 300, 2019
    Black and white bowling balls, brass.
    Approximately 8.5 x 8.5 x 600-1,146 in.
    Courtesy the artist.

    Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

  • Galaxie 300 (detail), 2019
    Black and white bowling balls, brass.
    Approximately 8.5 x 8.5 x 600-1,146 in.
    Courtesy the artist

    Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

  • Cultivator, 2019
    Onyx, brass, cast iron
    88 x 24 x 24 in.
    Courtesy the artist.

    Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

  • Cultivator (detail), 2019
    Onyx, brass, cast iron
    88 x 24 x 24 in.
    Courtesy the artist.

    Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

  • Installation view: Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019.
    Photograph by Peter Harris Studio. Image courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. © Kathleen Ryan

Press Coverage

  1. For 'Slow Art Day,' No More Speeding Through Museum Galleries | Andrea Shea | WBUR The ARTery

  2. Installation view of Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator, at MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2019

    Kathleen Ryan: Cultivator at the MIT List | Boston Hassle | Jessica Khamarji