Some people find it alluring. For others, a little macabre. But if there is an artist who creates a haunting meticulous universe quite like Mark Ryden, we have yet to find them. To call him a master of his craft is an understatement, and his brew of kitsch, subcultural legacies and storytelling are so rare that he doesn’t quite fit into one category of contemporary art. Takashi Murakami, long an admirer of the Portland-based artist, has said of Ryden and his generation, “Once we had full command of both of these (art history and technique), we succeeded in combining historical painting methods with subculture. That, in a nutshell, is our generation.”

After a delay caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic, it feels special then that Ryden will be showing his newest body of work, freshly named Anima Animals, at Perrotin Shanghai from July 3—August 22, 2020. Ryden channels nostalgia and a spiritual present, combining the grandeur of Western art traditions with his own Americana that fits the programming that Perrotin has created in Asia in recent years. Anima Animals will feature over 40 new works (19 paintings and a series of works on paper)  that border on mythical scale, nestled in wooden frames that imbue each character with an almost sinister grandeur saved for the Old Masters.

“I have been including creatures like these in my work for some time,” Ryden told us. “They are originally inspired by vintage rubber faced plush dolls made in the 1940’s and 1950’s. These strange old stuffed animals have intriguing expressions that have a quality of cuteness that is often disturbing. Their individual personalities provide a starting point for me to create new characters with whom I try and instill with as much authentic spiritual life as I can.” —Evan Pricco

Perrotin and Kasmin are delighted to announce a jointly organized exhibition of new works by American painter Mark Ryden. Featuring over forty works from the artist’s latest series, Anima Animals. This also marks the artist’s first solo show in China.