Taeyoul Ryu’s series Royalty takes the monarch’s crown and pairs it down to its most essential form. Large lamps that stand like single stemmed tulips tower over six feet tall, like pieces in a giant chess game or faceless kings and queens. An elegant chair repeats the motif suggesting a throne. Works from this series were made after 2020, at least partially in response to the global pandemic. The artist wanted people to feel the dignity that a royal metaphor might provide.
Also included, and complementary to ideas within Royalty are works from the series BeReady. Their titles allude to series of fighter jets from the F series that were developed by the United States in the 1950s during the cold war whose purpose was to always be on stand-by. Each is embellished with an element from one of the jets designs.
Ryu is a furniture maker and sculptor from South Korea. He studied at the Chung-Ang University in Seoul before completing his master's degree at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2000. He has worked with the studio and collection of the artist Wendel Castle in Scottsville, New York since 1999.
Ryu’s work has been featured in at least ten exhibitions at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, including six iterations of Art in Craft Media, a biennial juried exhibition at the center, funded by the Sylvia L. Rosen Endowment for Fine Arts in the Craft Media since 1988. He is the winner of the 2022 Langley Kenzie Prize. The award was established by Rachel K. King and Mary K. Mahley, the children of Ross and Langley Kenzie. This endowment celebrates the memory of their late mother Langley to recognize and support artists working in craft media. Funds provide an award to an artist from the Art in Craft Media biennial exhibition selected by the center’s curatorial staff and a solo exhibition of their work.