Project Highlight: Will Ryman’s America


by Rachel Heidenry

Will Ryman’s America, on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art, is great. The work takes the shape of a log cabin – referencing the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln. Rather than emoting a humble, splintered texture, however, the wood cabin is coated in gold resin – its size magnificent.

A single entrance invites viewers to engage the space where  more gold is encountered. Rather than wood, the interior is coated in materials emblematic of American Industry: corn, cotton, bullets, soda tabs, pills, iphones, lightbulbs. Individual shapes mix with the various textures, creating a dichotomy of industrial wealth throughout American history. Balanced between literality and abstraction, America presents a thoughtful look at the objects critical to our national capitalism.

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All photographs copyright Rachel Heidenry

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