The Magnificent Seven: Ryan Gander
Ryan Gander’s idea-based practice appropriates elements from different disciplines and sources like architecture and urbanism, design or language in order to suggest different narratives that defy artistic conventions. Compared with a modern storyteller, his works often seem to occupy the spaces untouched by narratives extracted either from popular culture or personal experience.
This narrative aspect of his work was evident early on in Loose Associations (2002); an ongoing performance series that rapidly gained him international recognition. While assuming the lecture format, the piece allowed Gander to engage in a verbal digression through topics as diverse as “desire lines,” furniture design, or Morse code. More recently his interest in literature and history becomes clear in The Happy Prince (2011), Gander’s first public sculpture in New York that takes on Oscar Wilde’s morality tale.
Puzzles also play a key role in Gander’s practice. In recent years he has produced curios and complex works like a chess set based on Joseph Hartwig’s 1924 didactical redesign of the game in Bauhaus Revisited (2005) or even invented a new word, Mitim, which points towards meaning and is thus self reflective.
Born in 1976 in Chester, UK, Ryan Gander received his BA from Manchester Metropolitan University (1999) and has undertaken graduate studies at Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht (2000) and Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2002), both in The Netherlands. Recent solo exhibitions include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010), Villa Arson, Nice (2009), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2009), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, and South London Gallery, London.