Blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction, Ryan Gander assembles seemingly disparate objects, actions and texts to develop his own narrative systems. Characterized by conceptual rigor, visual simplicity and allusive text, Ryan Gander’s works probe the processes of emergence and the mechanisms of perception entailed by the work of art. Installations, photographs, performances, publications and press inserts are his means of following up a train of thought concerning art’s discursive potential and its transmission systems. His practice, which makes extensive use of language and work with other artists, aims at “making the invisible visible” and providing the “possibility and preconditions for things to happen”.
Playing with different processes of revelation, apparition and disappearance, the works presented in his exhibition raise questions related to portraiture : how to represent or try to define someone and particularly the figure of the artist (in the broad sense of the visual artist, writer, architect, urbanist, designer, magician...), from his - real or imaginary - role in history and current society to his social representation and his private image. These concerns are also brought up through pieces particularly linked with notions of authorship, ownership and appropriation. The worlds of art - their codes and their languages - are incessantly put into perspective with characters and stories invented by the artist. Spread out over both exhibition galleries, Ryan Gander’s works provoke constant shuttles between these real and imaginary worlds, until their indetermination.
In 2003, having completed a research residency at the Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, Ryan Gander participated in the artists' residency program of the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. The same year, Gander published the artists' book 'Appendix', had a solo exhibition a the 'Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam' and won the 'Prix de Rome' for sculpture. In 2007, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, MUMOK, Vienna, and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, hosted solo exhibitions. 2007 also marked the year of a research sabbatical, with no new work being exhibited until a major touring solo show.
In 2007, 'Heralded as the new black' opened at the South London Gallery, London. In January 2008, the exhibition traveled to the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, and then to Boijmanns, Rotterdam. 2008 has been an increasingly vibrant year, with new works being shown in group exhibitions at the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, the Sydney Biennial, the Whitstable Biennale and solo show at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. In 2009, Gander has solo shows at Annet Gelink Gallery, NL, gb agency and Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, FR and Picture This, Bristol, UK.
Gander was awarded the 2007 Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts, in 2006 won the ABN AMRO prize of the Netherlands and in 2005 he was short listed for the British art Prize 'Becks Futures' at the ICA in London and won the Baloise Art Statement Prize at Art Basel.
Ryan Gander lives and works in London.
Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
gb agency, Paris
Kadist Art Foundation, Paris
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Kunstverein Sankt Gallen, CH
IKON Gallery, Birmingham
South London Gallery
Taro Nasu Gallery, Tokyo