From the utopian ambitions of the modernist movement to the overlooked details of daily experience, Gander’s work ranges across a dizzying spectrum of forms and ideas. His meticulously researched projects—which have included such diverse conceptual gestures as an invented word, a chess set, a television script, and a children’s book—engage familiar historical narratives and cultural paradigms only to unravel their structures and assumptions, presenting elusive scenarios that abound with interpretive potential.
In the Intervals installation that will take place at the Guggenheim Museum this coming October 2010, visitors will encounter a scene of apparent catastrophe that relates to Gander’s ongoing exploration of the schism between the Dutch artists Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) and Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931). These friends and creative collaborators severed their relationship in 1924 due to van Doesburg’s belief in the diagonal line as a valid element in abstract art, which conflicted with Mondrian’s insistence on a reductive visual language consisting of only gridded horizontals and verticals. Gander imagines this artistic dogmatism provoking a violent struggle between the two men that sends them crashing through a stained-glass window in the home of Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect of the Guggenheim Museum. In a mysterious temporal and spatial discontinuity, the debris from this accident has landed in the Reading Room, showering fragments of glass and lead over the books about Wright’s life and work that are customarily available in the space. Accompanying this relic from the annals of art history is an artifact that has been transported to the museum from the New York of the future: a $25 coin representing the inflated worth of a contemporary quarter by the year 2027, that has been glued to the floor in reference to a classic practical joke.
About Ryan Gander
Ryan Gander lives and works in London. He received his BA from Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom (1999) and undertook post-graduate studies at Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, Netherlands (2000) and Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam (2002). Gander’s work has been widely exhibited internationally, including recent solo presentations at Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2010); Villa Arson–Centre national d’art contemporain, Nice (2009); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2009), South London Gallery (2008); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, United Kingdom (2008); and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007). Group exhibitions include Production Site: The Artist’s Studio Inside-Out, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2010); Chasing Napoleon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2009–10); Space as Medium, Miami Art Museum (2009–10); and The Generational: Younger than Jesus, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2009) as well as Wouldn’t it be nice . . . Wishful thinking in art and design, Somerset House, London (2008); Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich (2008); and Centre d’art contemporain, Geneva (2007). The Intervals exhibition and the Public Art Fund program mark Gander’s first solo institutional presentations in New York.
Intervals: Ryan Gander
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
Aye Simon Reading Room, Rotunda Level 2
October 1, 2010 – January 9, 2011
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