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Ryan Gander is an artist living and working in Suffolk and London in the UK. Over the past two decades, Gander has established an international reputation through a vast and pluralistic body of artworks that materialise in many different forms, ranging from sculpture, apparel and writing to architecture, painting, typefaces, publications and performance. As well as curating exhibitions, he is a committed educator, having taught at international art institutions and universities, and has written and presented television programmes on and about contemporary art and culture for the BBC.
Through associative thought processes that connect the everyday and the esoteric, the overlooked and the commonplace, Gander’s work involves a questioning of language and knowledge, a reinvention of the modes of appearance and creation of an artwork. His work can be reminiscent of a puzzle, a network with multiple connections, the fragments of an embedded story, a huge set of hidden clues to be deciphered, encouraging viewers to make their own connections and invent their own narrative in order to solve the charade with its many solutions, staged by the artist.
Gander is typically described as a conceptual artist, but this is a term he has refuted, referring instead to himself as ‘a sort of neo-conceptualist, Proper-“Gander”-ist, amateur philosopher’. Through creative and associative thought processes that connect everyday life and the esoteric, the overlooked and the commonplace, Gander’s work involves a questioning of language and knowledge, a reinvention of the modes of appearance and creation of an artwork.
Gander studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL and the Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, NL. He was awarded the 2007 Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts, in 2006 won the ABN AMRO prize of the Netherlands, 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, in 2009 he was awarded the Zürich Art Prize.
Alongside his artistic production, Gander is a visiting lecturer at a selection of art schools within Europe, previously being a Professor of Fine Arts at Huddersfield University, and has been presented the award of Doctor of Arts of the Manchester Metropolitan University, Honoris Causa, and at the University of Suffolk. In 2017 he was awarded an OBE for services to contemporary arts. In 2019 he was awarded the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University and the Pommery Prize at Armory, New York, US.
Recent solo shows have been held at Lisson Gallery, New York, US; Kunsthalle Bern, CH; Esther Schipper, Berlin, DE; BASE / Progetti per l’arte, Florence, IT, gb Agency, Paris, FR, TARO NASU, Tokyo, JP Lisson Gallery, London, UK; The National Museum of Art, Osaka, JP; Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, SK; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, CA; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, AU; Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore, SG; Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK.
Major projects include Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art 2018, Liverpool, UK; Sydney Biennale 2018, Sydney, AU; Performa 15, New York, US; British Art Show 8, Leeds, UK; Panorama, High Line, New York, US; Imagineering, Okayama Castle, Okayama, JP; The artists have the keys, 2 Willow Road, London, UK; Unlimited, Art Basel, Basel, CH; Parcours, Art Basel, Basel, CH; Esperluette, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, G; Locked Room Scenario, commissioned by Artangel, London, UK; ILLUMInations at the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale; Intervals at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC, US and The Happy Prince, Public Art Fund, Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park, NYC, US.
Recent publications include The Annotated Reader, Picasso and I, rRemai mModern, Fieldwork, the Complete Reader, Bedford Press; a monograph by the artist, entitled Culturefield, published by Koenig Books; Artist’s Cocktails, Dente-de-Leone; The boy that always looked up, Lisson Gallery; Ampersand, Dente-de-Leone; Catalogue Raisonnable Vol: 1, co-published by JRP Ringier and Westreich/Wagner Publications.