Kathleen Ryan

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Artist Statement

Concrete is the stuff of modern infrastructure, the most common building material in the world, used to communicate strength, functionality, and frugality.  I first used it to make a giant snake ring: the form a line in space, sinuous and sensual, channeling luxury, sexual desire, darkness and decadence.  Then I cast balloons in concrete, linked together with chains they become grape clusters, like drunken bodies, swelling and almost bursting from the pressure of their own juices.  As they pull each other towards the ground, they are both buoyant and exhausted by their heaviness.  My sculptures invert expectations of materials and iconographic objects, by placing their physical weight at odds with their psychic weight.

Steel stair railings, removed from their prosaic location and function and turned on their sides recall nature symbols: glowing light rays, water swelling into a wave.  Classical columns, symbols of power and authority, are handmade in fragile ceramic and are sagging, swaying, like aging bodies or ruins reconstructed. Abstract caryatids, the body is not literally sculpted but is present: in the marks of their making, in their bulging and tilting, in their imperfection and fragility while attempting to do something grand.



Born 1984, Santa Monica, CaliforniaLives and works in Los Angeles, California.


MFA, UCLA, Los Angeles, California


BA Studio Art and Anthropology, Pitzer College, Claremont, California.

Selected Exhibitions


SOGTFO, Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Frieze Sculpture Park, Regent’s Park, London, UK

Jeff, Grice Bench, Los Angeles, California

Scripps Ceramics Annual, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Claremont, California.


Artificial Complexion, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, California

Control Lapse, Josh Lilley Gallery, London
, UK

2x2x2: Nevine Mahmoud & Kathleen Ryan, Favorite Goods, Los Angeles, California

The White Album, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, California

ck one daily, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, California

A Meerkat’s Whistle, Three Days Awake, Los Angeles, California

Temecula, Helmuth Projects, San Diego, California

MFA Thesis, New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

Corporeal Impulse, Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, California.


MFA Preview, New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

Screens, & Pens Press, Culver City, California

Wall Painting, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, California


Qualified by Light, Actual Size, Los Angeles, California

The Planter Show, ForYourArt, Los Angeles, California

Kottabos, curated by Marina Pinsky, Los Angeles, California


My head is falling out so I’m standing on my stomach, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena.

HAKKA, the Notary Public, New York, New York.


Tasteful Improvements, workspace, Los Angeles, California

Hollowing, Infernoesque, Berlin, Germany



Dean’s Award, UCLA, Los Angeles, California.

D’Arcy Hayman Scholarship, Los Angeles, California.

Laura Andreson Scholarship, Los Angeles, California.


Art Council Award, UCLA, Los Angeles, California.

Laura Andreson Scholarship, UCLA, Los Angeles, California.

Graduate Division Award, UCLA, Los Angeles, California


Laura Andreson Scholarship, Los Angeles, California

University Fellowship, UCLA, Los Angeles, California


Keck Scholarship, Pitzer College, Claremont, California