A public garden & cultural center

Reade Bryan

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pictured above: Generators, 2017, AC plywood, 94 x 54 x 28 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Wave Hill. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Reade Bryan explores the role of natural resources that have been harvested for constructing the urban environment. He manipulates these industrial-use materials to resemble the kind of original, raw material he utilized in his sculptural installation Generators, which is comprised of curvilinear, radial forms. These undulating plywood rings are stacked upon one another, creating a voluminous presence. Each individual piece can be viewed as a pattern sourced from the landscape, or as part of the human body. Taken as a total, the form resembles a tree stump or biological cell, markers of growth and decay in nature.

Sunroom Project Space | July 13–August 24, 2014

Inhabited2014, various sheet materials, insulation, hollow-core doors, hollow-core furniture, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Reade Bryan’s work examines the role of materials and natural resources in the production of the built environment. In his sculptures, Bryan uses iconic building supplies, originally uprooted from nature and repurposed for an industrial context, to mimic their raw origins. Plywood, corrugated cardboard, rubber, drywall made of gypsum and other sheet materials are refashioned in a way that evokes organic forms and natural occurrences, such as tree-ring growth, tectonic movement, geological strata and flowing magma.

Bryan’s Sunroom Project, Inhabited, explores the tension between landscape and dwelling, while considering both Wave Hill’s history as a former estate and its relationship to its surroundings. The sculptural installation — two components, each with its own title — is made with a variety of sheet materials that are laminated, cut and stacked so that they look like natural formations that have invaded the gallery space. One piece, titled Molten, appears to be flowing into the space from the windows, evoking the effect of a flood or a mass on a cliff edge. The vertical sculpture, Corner, resembles rock formations in a canyon, or the fusing of a stalactite and stalagmite in a cavern. A section has been cut out to reveal a white laminate surface, reminding the viewer of the materials’ architectural purposes. These works play with scale and perception; grand scale is brought to human proportions, while the outside world intrudes disconcertingly on the domestic interior.

Inhabited2014, various sheet materials, insulation, hollow-core doors, hollow-core furniture, dimensions variable. Photo: Wave Hill.

Artist website

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.