Published: May 22, 2007
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has organized a major museum presentation of works by sculptor Sophie Ryder, from June 8 through September 3, 2007.
Although well known in her native England, as well as in Europe and Canada, this is Ryder’s first major museum exhibition in the United States. Important examples of her work, in a variety of media and in varying scale, will be presented. Work in wire, bronze, installation, drawings and prints will draw both connections and distinctions within the artist’s repertoire. Central to the exhibition will be the recently completed bronze masterwork, “Introspective” and the colossal “Curled-Up Figure” in wire.
The idea of making three-dimensional sculptures entirely from wire is one of Ryder’s trademarks. She begins with a metal armature, which is covered with wire of different thickness, including bed springs and other pieces salvaged from ships. To shape the wire she uses her bare hands and pliers, sometimes aided by a hammer. It is a very physical job and tough on the hands, which inevitably get filthy and cut at times.
“Sophie Ryder’s upcoming exhibition is an excellent opportunity to present a major international sculptor to American audiences,” said Dr Joseph Becherer, director of exhibitions and curator of the sculpture program at Meijer Gardens. “Ryder’s installations have enthralled audiences all across the globe, and we are honored to offer her premier museum presentation in the United States.”
“I sculpt characters and beings †the dogs, the hares, the Minotaur †all characters beyond animal form. That’s what interests me; I am not interested in making a replica. I haven’t sat down and studied anatomy and bone structure. I just look at the way a dog moves, a hare jumps and translate it into my work,” Ryder explains.
British sculptor Ryder (born 1963), unique animal and hybrid imagery in wire and bronze, is complimented by extensive investigations in drawing, collage and prints. Highly versatile, her lively, often humorous and tender insights into the human condition and relationship with animals have gained widespread critical acclaim.
Ryder studied at the Royal Academy Schools and has been making sculptures in wire and bronze for more than 20 years. Many of these works have been monumental in scale and placed in outdoor settings. She now lives with her husband and two children in a converted barn in the village of Winson in Gloucestershire where she creates her work in a studio converted from a cow barn.
On Thursday, June 7, visitors to Meijer Gardens will have an opportunity to meet with Ryder from 7 to 9 pm. Highly versatile, her lively, often humorous and tender insights into the human condition and relationship with animals have gained widespread critical acclaim. Join the artist for an informal talk about her work and a tour through the galleries, free with museum admittance.
Then on June 12, 7 to 8 pm, learn about the intriguing and unique animal sculpture by Ryder as well as other animal sculptures in the permanent collection when curator Heidi Holst leads a tour of discovery at Meijer Gardens.
The 125-acre Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is at 1000 East Beltline NE. For more information, www.meijergardens.org or 616-957-1580.
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