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Ode to Duchamp; a Liar
Ryan Bock
July 12, 2023 - August 6, 2023

Ki Smith Gallery is thrilled to announce a special surprise exhibition, Ode to Duchamp; a Liar, featuring Ryan Bock. In the tradition of Duchamp’s ‘Ready Made’ sculpture and borrowing from Dadaist theory, this monumental chess set is entirely comprised of antique piano parts gathered from an out of business piano factory in the Bronx. Chess, originally intended as a military strategy game, is designed quite literally as a playground for adults to act out violence, to appease murderous desire, and to simulate war. This interactive sculpture in this instance becomes an opportunity to explore the artist's deep rooted interest in puppetry and theater as well as becoming a satirical take on societal roles, government, and religion. Ryan Bock (also known as Bockhaus) explicitly and notoriously claims to 'never play games’ so please refrain from asking him to play a game with you.

About Ryan Bock

Ryan Bock is an American artist who lives and works in New York City. Ryan Bock specializes in painting, drawing, puppetry, animation and experimental film methods. Bock’s practice is rooted in a need for narrative structure. Residing somewhere between mythology and nightmare, Bock depicts mise-en-scène riddled with symbology and allusions both cinematic and painterly. Maintaining a fascination for shape, shade, shadow, structure and optical illusion, Bock deconstructs his subject matter into often barely-recognizable delineations and structurally unsound repetitive patterns. In an attempt to confront the contemporary individual’s relationship to mortality, fear and superstition, Bock depicts correlations between the human figure and its innovations: technology, architecture and religion—both historically and fictitiously. By consistently contrasting historical subjects with those of the present, and using the recurring patterns found to generate predictions about our future—a process he refers to as ‘dusty futurism’—Bock propels his audience to reconsider the routine human experience and discloses the illusions implemented to keep them from questioning.

Since receiving his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bock has shown at numerous galleries both nationally––New York, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, and Oakland––and internationally in Paris, London, and Prague, including seven solo exhibitions. His work has also been featured in group exhibitions at Christie’s New York and the Honolulu Museum of Art. During his time with Apostrophe NYC’s Base 12 Project, he participated in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, Coney Island’s Luna Park, Mana Contemporary, and the MTA’s Kosciuszko Street J train Station. In 2019, Bock’s installation at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and subsequent solo exhibition ​Somnambulist​ were featured by Hi-Fructose​ Magazine, ​ARTnews​, ​Observer​, and ​artnet News.​ He currently shows with Ki Smith Gallery and Ground Effect (Paris), and has works in several prominent private and public collections.

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