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Will Ryman

On the occasion of the sculptor’s exhibit, A New Beginning, at Marlborough Gallery, in Chelsea, (September-October, 2009), Will Ryman took a break from his studio to visit Art International Radio to talk to Phong Bui about his life and current body of work. Having previously been a playwright Ryman took his "total" theatre into three-dimensional form, from human figures in their altered scale to equally disorenting garden of roses, which the artist envisions to be "total" public sculptures.

Ryman delineates his process for creating what he considers his breakthrough work, The Bed, tracing his initial conception for the piece to a desire to make the viewer feel like a bug. All of his unique pieces since have taken scale as a fundamental part of their creation, their relation to and interaction with the viewer perhaps their most essential element. Ryman's work often has a disembodied, non-linear narrative thrust, albeit one without any imposed structure; he discusses how his 12 years as a playwright - and his attraction to such writers as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco and Arthur Miller - inflect his current work and why he feels less confined and contorted by the potential limitations of sculpture than of theater (43 minutes).


Off The Rail


Artist, critic, curator, teacher and newspaperman Phong Bui is now taking his insatiable talent to the airwaves. A man with a voracious appetite for all things artistic, social and cultural, Phong's work has been shown at such galleries at Pierogi, Sarah Bowen Gallery, Wooster Art Space and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, winning him numerous awards and grants from the American Academy of Letters, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the National Academy, among others. He is a curatorial adviser at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and has taught at such institutions as Columbia University, Bard College and the School of Visual Arts. He used the money from his first sold painting to create the venerable arts, culture and politics journal The Brooklyn Rail and the publishing press The Brooklyn Rail/Black Square Editions. He is an unstoppable force of unyielding curiosity.

Here Phong interviews artists, curators, booksellers and anyone else he finds notable and interesting on the cultural landscape. Follow his lead; it's always proved impeccable.