Mark Ryden at Perrotin Shanghai: 'Anima Animals'

Pink-cheeked and wide eyed Divine beings


Aug 27, 2020

By Saint Maison Team

There's only 2 days until the closing of this very unique exhibition, joint organized by Perrotin and Kasmin, so definitly go if you haven't.

The exhibition features over forty artworks from Mark Ryden's latest series,

Anima Animals, and it's also Ryden's first solo show in China.

"Anima Animals presents a portrait gallery of enchanted characters that

embody the artist’s meticulously-realized, signature blend of archetype,

kitsch, and narrative mysticism. Resplendent with pink-cheeked, wideeyed divine beings, the works are encased in ornate, handcarved

wooden frames of the artist’s design that function as part of the artwork,

extending the traditional limits of the picture plane. The characters’

otherworldly demeanors found within are inspired by the idiosyncratic

and playfully proportioned faces of 1950s vintage plush animal toys.

Whilst many of these creatures present a benevolent smile framed by

soft tendrils of candy-colored fur, saccharine curls, roses, and silk bows,

a darker tension lies just under the surface, hinting at the haunting

resonance of the subconscious.

Ryden’s modern mythologies inseparably interweave twin senses of

comfort and menace. “Most of my work engages with the relationship between the physical world and the spiritual world," he has said. His are

scenes that exist in the ambiguous space between these two realms,

in which nostalgia—and by extension memory, even death—are everpresent.

Takashi Murakami has said: “Mark Ryden, Yoshitomo Nara, and I, among

others, belong to a generation of artists who have been facing in the

same general direction. What I mean by the ‘same direction’ is that as

children, we were baptized in subculture and that experience remains

intensely imprinted on each of our beings. When we subsequently

began painting in our adolescent years, we also started to study art

history while simultaneously developing our painting technique. Once

we had full command of both of these, we succeeded in combining

historical painting methods with subculture. That, in a nutshell, is our


Ryden’s time-honored, artistic craftsmanship elevates heavily

sentimentalized elements of American tradition and antiquity, collected

as though for a cabinet of wonders. His labor-intensive canvases deftly

rework centuries of art history, combining the grandeur of Spanish and

Italian religious painting with the decorative richness of Old Master

compositions and the lush textures of French Neoclassicism." - Perrotin Shanghai

JULY 03 - AUGUST 29, 2020

3/F, 27 Hu Qiu Rd, Huanpu District, Shanghai

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