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Heralded as the new black
21 March 2009 - 24 May 2009
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is proud to present the first major museum exhibition of works by Ryan Gander (1976). ‘Heralded as the new black’ features new works from late 2008 and places them alongside existing works in a new context. With his objects, installations, texts and films Gander invites visitors to establish their own connections, to make up their own stories and to generate individual meanings.
Ryan Gander wishes to create a dialogue between the viewer and the work, which have references to art history, cinematography and narrative structures. He creates new meanings by bringing together various elements in a variety of combinations at different times within a new context. Gander’s works do not reveal their underlying stories. They do not explain themselves, but challenge viewers to establish their own connections. In a recent interview Gander explained: ‘If you let the spectator discover something on their own terms it holds more significance than it being handed on a plate.’
By employing historical or cultural references Gander reminds us that everything new is in fact borrowed from the past. He is known for his ‘magpie instinct’: he appropriates the works of other artists and transforms them into something else entirely. An example of this practice is ‘The New New Alphabet’ (2008), comprising thirty-six traditional looking wooden printers’ blocks arranged as a sculpture on the floor. The letters seem to be illegible hieroglyphs, but are inspired by the typeface that Wim Crouwel (former director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen) designed for the computer in 1967. This ‘New Alphabet’ was so radical in it formal reduction that it was actually illegible. Gander’s ‘The New New Alphabet’ adds elements to Crouwel’s alphabet so that it is rendered legible again, but Gander’s alphabet is simultaneously just as illegible.
‘Heralded as the New Black’ is displayed in the Willem van der Vorm gallery and comprises of sixteen works. The gallery is located in the heart of the entrance area. The richly illustrated catalogue is on sale in the museum shop.
Ryan Gander was born in Chester, England in 1976 and lives in London. He has exhibited in Great Britain and abroad. The exhibition ‘Heralded as the New Black’ has been organised in association with the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and the South London Gallery, London. The exhibition has been financially supported by H+F Patronage.
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