Ryan Gander : The Connectivity Suite

03 June – 27 August 2016

Portrait Of A Colour Blind Artist Obscured By Flowers, 2016, HD video, color, stereo sound - film still
Portrait Of A Colour Blind Artist Obscured By Flowers, 2016, HD video, color, stereo sound - film still

Please note that this exhibition is on view at
Esther Schipper, Schöneberger Ufer 65

Esther Schipper is pleased to present Ryan Gander’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, The Connectivity Suite (and other places), following his 2011 presentation with Johnen Galerie. The Connectivity Suite (and other places) will feature all new works, including an architectural intervention, a film, sculptures, a performance, and a scent.

The material, formal and stylistic variety of Ryan Gander’s practice is unified both by his conceptual vision and by recurring themes concerning creativity, the nature of art and the life of the artist. His œuvre evokes fictional spaces, referring to absent objects, art works or persons, both real and imaginary. The suggestions of missing items, indicated by names or traces, act as witty, lyrical evocations of the power of imagination. Gander often focuses his attention on the playfulness and imagination of children, who are less encumbered by facts and appearances than adults. His subtle, elusive works encourage observers to explore new spaces (sometimes deliberately hidden or inaccessible) and, in the process, confront the multiple ambiguities of what may constitute a work of art.

A case in point is Gander’s best known – but largely invisible – work for dOCUMENTA (13), I Need Some Meaning I Can Memorise (The Invisible Pull) (2012), described by the artist as “a gentle breeze pulling the spectator through the gallery space.” To create this subtle yet spectacular work, Gander devised a hidden, complex alteration to the air circulation system of the room. In Karlsaue Park, Gander’s Escape hatch to Culturefield mimicked an easily overlooked municipal drain, alluding to the artist’s vision for an imaginary place perfectly suited for research and artistic production.

The Connectivity Suite (and other places) continues Gander’s investigation of the nature of creativity. The walls in one room of the gallery are covered with a thin pleated curtain. Alluding to the presence of an unseen space, a strong current from a large air vent causes a section of the curtain to billow in constant movement. Lending the exhibition its title, The Connectivity Suite, 2016 is modeled on the style of business directory signage found in the foyers of office buildings. Instead of corporations and suite numbers, Gander’s large backlit panel lists ideas, notes, themes and subjects from the artist’s notebook which relate to the research and development of new art works. The second part of the exhibition’s title derives from a new marble sculpture entitled Other Places – a pair of UGG boots and denim cutoffs, discarded by an unknown visitor. Gander’s idealized creative site “Culturefield” appears in Elevator to Culturefield, ornate scale elevator doors with a golden metal sculptural relief on their surface that illustrates a classical building structure emerging through the clouds—a reference to Gander’s unrealized project for a private art school. Set seamlessly into the wall, the elevator appears deceptively functional.

A new film entitled A portrait of a colour blind artist obscured by flowers will be presented in the adjoining room. The film appears to depict the artist working in his studio. Similar to The Connectivity Suite, the film promises insight into Gander’s creative processes but continuously frustrates the viewer’s curious gaze as the protagonist’s face is artfully obstructed in each shot by vases of flowers. Two works referring to idealized fictional places of creation are exhibited alongside: Echo from Culturefield, traces apparently left by a gallery sign, and The Day To Day Accumulation Of Hope, Failure And Ecstasy - Better A Productive Failure Than An Unproductive Success (The Fairfield International), another sculpture that refers to Gander’s project for a private art school.

Ryan Gander was born in 1976 in Chester in the United Kingdom. He studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht and Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. The artist lives and works in London and Suffolk.

Gander participated in dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, 54th Venice Biennale and 9th Shanghai Biennale. The artist’s work is included in the collections of Tate Modern, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam; Tate Collection, London, and Arts Council Collection, London, among other.

The artist has had numerous solo exhibitions, among them: To stand amongst the elements and to interpret what one knows opens at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenes, Deurle (2016); Make every show like it’s your last, Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal (2016); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2015), Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2015), Manchester City Art Gallery (2014) (touring exhibition); Portrait of a blind artist obscured by flowers, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (2015); Esperluette, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); Boing, Boing, Squirt, Museu Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2012); and Intervals: Ryan Gander, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010).

Recent group exhibitions include: ME, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt (2016); Prière de toucher, le tactile dans l’art, Tinguely Museum, Basel (2016); British Art Show 8, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2016); Performa 15, New York (2015); Art as a Verb, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2015); Between the Idea and Experience, 12th Havana Biennial, Havana (2015); Panorama, High Line, New York (2015); When I Give, I Give Myself, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (2015); The Peace One Day Art Project for 2014, ICA, London (2014); Blue Times, Kunsthalle Wien (2014); Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (2013) and When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis, San Francisco (2012).

For press inquiries please contact David Ulrichs Tel: +49 (0) 176 50 33 01 35 or david@davidulrichs.com