Date: American collagist, painter, and printmaker, 1889–1954
Biography: Ryan was part of the first generation of abstract expressionist artists in New York. A resident of Greenwich Village, Ryan was encouraged to study art by her neighbors, the modernist artists Hans Hofmann and Tony Smith. In 1941 she joined Stanley W. Hayter's Atelier 17, attracted by the workshop's technical expertise and avant-garde approach to process and materials. She learned to make woodcuts from Louis Schanker and the two, together with Werner Drewes, participated in VANGUARD, a group of experimental printmakers. In 1948 she saw the collages of Kurt Schwitters and began to work in that medium, producing over 400 small, abstract collages.