Taking as his inspiration the furniture and fittings that Ernö Goldfinger designed for 2 Willow Road
, leading British artist Ryan Gander has created new works that are now exhibited interspersed with the collection in the architects Modernist home.
Goldfinger was a Hungarian-born architect and designer of furniture who is most notably remembered for his residential tower blocks, part of the governments attempt to solve the housing shortage after World War II. Among his most iconic buildings were the 27-floor Balfron Tower in the East End and the 31-floor Trellick Tower in North Kensington which are both fine examples of Brutalist architecture.
One audio-visual work in the exhibition (A flawed and wounded man bleeding frames onto a page) is a performance of a childrens book written by Gander, entitled The Boy Who Always Looked Up, about Goldfingers relationship to Trellick Tower. The work is a dramatic radio play, filmed in a professional recording studio, incorporating a live performance by foley artists using sound effect props to accompany the narrative.
Goldfinger designed 2 Willow Road for himself and his family in 1939 and the house contains the Goldfingers' impressive collection of modern art, intriguing personal possessions and innovative furniture. His ground-breaking design details still feel fresh today and Ganders works draw on the objects designed and assembled by the Goldfinger family. Anyone with a family is motivated by money, for example, is a self-assembly moneybox designed and made using the same slot-together technique used by Elizabeth Goldfinger for the lounge chairs in 2 Willow Road itself.
Ryan Ganders complex and unfettered conceptual practice is stimulated by queries, investigations or what-ifs, rather than strict rules or limits. Gander is a cultural magpie in the widest sense, polymathically taking popular notions apart only to rebuild them in new ways. His work involves a questioning of language and knowledge, a reinvention of the modes of appearance and creation of an artwork.
Ryan Gander is an artist living and working in London and Suffolk. He has established an international reputation through artworks that materialise in many different forms from sculpture to film, writing, graphic design, installation, performance and more besides. Through associative thought processes that connect the everyday and the esoteric, the overlooked and the commonplace, Ganders 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.
He studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL and the Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, NL. Recent projects include Esperluette, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, G; Boing, Boing, Squirt, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, MX; Locked Room Scenario, commissioned by Artangel, London, UK; Really Shiny Things That Don't Mean Anything, Trybuna Honorowa, Plac Defilad, Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie, Warsaw, PL; 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 solo shows have been held at Frac Ile-de- France / Le Plateau, Paris, FR; Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL; Daiwa Press Viewing Room, Hiroshima, JP; Lisson Gallery, London, UK; gb agency, Paris, FR; Fondazione Morra Greco, Napoli, IT; Maison Hermès, Tokyo, JP; Jörg Johnen Galerie, Berlin, DE and Okinawa Prefectural Museum, Okinawa, JP. A monograph by the artist, entitled Catalogue Raisonnable Vol: 1 has been co-published by JRP|Ringier and Thea Westreich/Ethan Wagner Publications.