Mark Ryden Logo

Kasmin Gallery is pleased to a selection of drawings from Mark Ryden: The Art of Whipped Cream for its online Viewing Room. These drawings were created for the production of American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream

Originally titled Schlagobers, the Austrian word for whipped cream, the production adapts a rediscovered Richard Strauss ballet from 1924 that centers on a boy who, after overindulging on treats at a pastry shop, falls into a state of delirium in which his candy confections come to life. Drawing from this narrative, Ryden further delves into the darker undercurrents of sweetness, from its sugary excesses to the intoxicating effects of overindulgence.

Character studies in graphite on paper introduce a peculiar new collection of characters to Ryden’s fantastical world. Champagne and vodka costumes drawn for the figures of Marianne (2016) and Boris (2016) incorporate elements of kitsch, complete with their identifying liquor labels. Desserts Counter (2016) presents an enticing cluster of Viennese confections in candy-colored tones: cupcakes, coffee and cocoa tins, and towers of pastries floating in front of a pink background. In addition to these new characters, many of the artist’s most enduring motifs and familiar creatures reappear in this body of work.

In its review of the ballet, The New York Times praised Ryden’s work:
The subject matter is kitsch, not because it’s fantasy but in the word’s original sense of mass-produced popular art, culture marketed for shopping. And yet this production is a triumph of stylishness. Sets (several in each act) and costumes by Mark Ryden are fantastic in color, line and detail. Ultrasweet kiddie-type cuteness is constantly invoked — there are giant toys, a carriage horse played by two dancers, and cupcake children — but so much careful affection is evident that kitsch is both triumphant and transcended.

Whipped Cream Logo

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Mark Ryden

Boris

2016

oil on panel in artist's frame

14 x 7 1/2 inches
35.6 x 19.1 cm
20 3/4 x 14 x 1 inches, framed
52.7 x 35.6 x 2.5 cm

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Mark Ryden

Don Zucchero

2016

oil on panel

14 x 7 1/2 inches
35.6 x 19.1 cm
21 x 14 x 1 inches, framed
53.3 x 35.6 x 2.5 cm

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Mark Ryden

The Carriage (drawing)

2016

graphite on paper in artist's frame

11 x 17 inches
27.9 x 43.2 cm
19 1/4 x 25 1/4 x 1 inches, framed
48.9 x 64.1 x 2.5 cm

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Mark Ryden

Whipped Cream Girl Alternate 2 (drawing)

2016

graphite on paper

12 x 9 inches
30.5 x 22.9 cm
19 1/8 x 16 1/8 x 1 inches, framed
48.6 x 41 x 2.5 cm

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Mark Ryden

Fantasy Characters Lineup (drawing)

2016

graphite on paper in artist's frame

14 x 20 inches
35.6 x 50.8 cm
22 1/2 x 28 1/2 x 1 inches, framed
57.1 x 72.4 x 2.5 cm

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Mark Ryden

The Hospital (drawing)

2016

graphite on paper

16 x 20 inches
40.6 x 50.8 cm
25 x 29 x 1 inches, framed
63.5 x 73.7 x 2.5 cm

1

Mark Ryden

Dessert Counter (sketch)

2016

graphite on paper

15 x 20 inches
38.1 x 50.8 cm
23 1/4 x 28 1/4 x 7/8 inches, framed
59.1 x 71.8 x 2.2 cm

1

Mark Ryden

City Scene 1 (sketch)

2016

graphite on paper

18 x 24 inches
45.7 x 61 cm
27 1/4 x 33 1/4 x 7/8 inches, framed
69.2 x 84.5 x 2.2 cm

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Mark Ryden

Quintessence 132 - Mezzo Dodecahedron

2018

aluminum and UV ink

15 x 15 x 15 inches
38.1 x 38.1 x 38.1 cm
Edition of 6 + 2 APs + 1 PP

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