August 19, 2008 - Bonner Kunstverein - Ryan Gander
August 19, 2008

Ryan Gander

Ryan Gander:
Man on a bridge – (A study of David Lange), 2008, 16mm film transferred to HD video projection, sound, loop 16′ 27″, Filmstill.
Copyright 2008 Ryan Gander und Bonner Kunstverein. Works courtesy of STORE, London; Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.


29 August – 2 November 2008
Opening: Thursday, 28 August, 7 p.m.
Press preview: Thursday, 28 August 2008, 11 a.m.

Hochstadenring 22,
53119 Bonn, Germany

With the exhibition SOMETHING VAGUE by RYAN GANDER (*1976 lives and works in London and Amsterdam), the Bonner Kunstverein is introducing a representative of the young British art scene. In the exhibition rooms of the Bonner Kunstverein, the artist will present his first institutional solo show in Germany. The exhibition has been realised in cooperation with NEUE KUNST HALLE ST. GALLEN and significantly expanded for Bonn.

After the Bonner Kunstverein presented JOHN BALDESSARI and a number of very young artists following up a conceptual approach in the group show NEUE KONZEPTE, the solo show SOMETHING VAGUE by RYAN GANDER is once more a contemporary artist committed to the tradition of Conceptual Art. RYAN GANDER’S oeuvre mainly centres on the deconstruction and disclosures of narrative strategies. Despite this heterogeneity, Gander’s artistic works focus on the question about the role of the form.

RYAN GANDER challenges the art viewer to put the elements of the piece together into a coherent whole before attempting the actual interpretation. The object’s creation and its reception are at last united by its viewing audience. A common thread throughout the objects is the theme of the invisible, which can only take shape in the viewer’s imagination.

The white sheets of paper waiting to be filled and marked by the artist in whatever form is a recurrent motif. “Felix provides a stage – (Eleven sketches for ‘A sheet of paper on which I was about to draw, as it slipped from my table and fell to the floor)”, 2008 shows photographs from the artist’s studio. The blank pages fill the room as prospective locations for future artworks. This piece puts the focus on the space where art is created, and the breezy studio with its fluttering pages emphasises the lightness and fleeting nature of artistic concepts. The staged empty spaces are also incorporated into a floor piece made up of laser-etched crystal balls: “A sheet of paper on which I was about to draw, slipped from the table and fell to the floor”, 2008.

In “She walked ahead, leading him through a blizzard of characters”, 2008, the viewer faces a room filled with absence. The title marks a freshly plastered wall behind which a text is hidden. GANDER bought it from a ghostwriter who had originally written it for Mexican artist MARIO GARCIA TORRES without ever being compensated for his work. The text is mounted, only to be completely and permanently obscured behind the fresh plaster of an exhibit wall. Not only does it inspire the viewer’s curiosity, a prerequisite with today’s art viewers, but it also addresses the topic of an institution’s history by adding a fresh layer (Here the German original uses a play on words: Ge-Schichte Geschichte=history) at the same time, Ge-Schichte can be interpreted as several applied layers=Schichten).

Ryan Gander (* 1976 in Chester) lives and works in London and Amsterdam. He studied at the Manchester Metropolitan University before he continued his studies at the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (1999–2000) and at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (2001–2002). His works have been displayed amongst others in: South London Gallery, London in 2008; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham in 2008; CCW Wattis Institute, San Francisco in 2007; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 2007; MUMOK, Vienna in 2006; Tate Britain, London in 2006. In Switzerland, Gander made himself a name when he received the Baloise Art Award for his audio/video installation «Is this guilt in you too – (Study of a car in a field)» (2005) at Art Basel 36 in Basel.

Supporting programme

Tue, 25 September, 6 p.m. Guidance in the exhibition with Stephan Strsembski.
Tue, 16 October, 6 p.m. Guidance in the exhibition with Anna Dietz.

Tue, 23 October, 6 p.m. With Christina Végh and Dr. Dr. des. Grischka Petri, Art Historian, Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn.

Sat, 6. September, 3-4.30 p.m.
KunstStück: Erzählt und Unsichtbar (“Told and invisible”). For children aged 7–13 years. With Felicitas Rohden.
Sun, 7. September, 3-4.30 p.m. KunstStück: Bilderrätsel (“Picture Puzzle”). For children aged 3–7 years. With Britta Schaffeld.

Exposed until April 2009:

For questions and further information please do not hesitate to contact:
Anna Dietz, or Christina Vègh,, phone: +49 28 693936.

Hochstadenring 22, 53119 Bonn, Germany
Tel. +49 228 693936, Fax +49 228 695589

Tue–Sun 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Thu 11 a.m.–7 p.m., closed on Mondays.
ARTOTHEK Wed, Fri 2–5 p.m., Thu 2–7 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.–1p.m.

Bonner Kunstverein

Bonner Kunstverein
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