Ryan Gander and Olive May Gander

Jolly Grown Up
November 7, 2015 - January 9, 2016

On Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm, Quartz Studio is delighted to present the exhibition Jolly Grown Up, a project by the English artist Ryan Gander (Chester, UK, 1976), conceived in every detail with his five-year-old daughter Olive May Gander. The starting point of this exchange between equals, between father and daughter, was 'The redistribution of everything that is good' from 2014. As Ryan Gander explains, "A year ago I gave my daughter, who was four at the time, a small Moleskine notebook with the idea that she would take pride in the drawings she made (instead of having hundreds of half finished sheets of A4 strewn around the floor) and learn how documents and objects work together in collections, in this instance bound into a volume.  To my surprise she came back to me an hour later with the same book complete. She had not made a single mark in the book but instead had torn, folded, cut, and punched holes and shapes in the pages. She had double bluffed, the creative freedom her childhood naivety had given her had produced an unexpected masterpiece. She had a totally altered perspective on the notion of art making, mark making and book making, and in that 'not knowing' something entirely original had been brought into the world. The art work 'The redistribution of everything that is good' is a revisiting of that moment. That book that had been made by my daughter was scanned page by page and meticulously laid out so that the spectator can see the book as an overview or a whole in once glance, to produce aluminum printing plates.”  With the exception of ‘The redistribution of everything that is good,’ all the works in the show were conceived and created by Ryan and Olive specifically for Jolly Grown Up. 

The installation In Real Life? opens (and closes) the exhibition, 175 printed copies of a shoebox hand painted by Olive. The boxes are assembled to make something of a wall against the entrance display window, which effectively prevents the ensemble from being seen from the outside. The mirror conversation between Ryan and Olive is perfectly represented in the playful construction of this project in the diptych Please be eager / Please be patient / Please collaborate - The day that me and Daddy talked about the exhibition in Italy and made our paintings, Olive’s Studio, Saxmundham, Sunday the 17th of May, 2015 by Olive May Gander + Please be eager / Please be patient / Please collaborate - Olive presenting me with a birthday present of a small brown cardboard box decorated with tape and drawings, containing an emergency art kit consisting of various small pens, pencils, tapes, stickers and glues, Saxmundham, Thursday the 21st of May, 2015 by Ryan Gander. Also included in the exhibition: the small canvas Olive May Gander, the colorful sculpture Over engineered and the funny plasticine sculptures of the Original model for ‘Bad thing seen from a different perspective,' depicting the theft of a Barbara Hepworth sculpture from London's Dulwich Park. Surprise Work – Twinkle in the Star, is a painted shoebox left open for the spectator to peer inside. It holds 29 'Mix ‘em Ups,' amalgamations of multiple toy Playmobil figures into single hybrid odd-looking mutant characters. As Olive says, "The first man is holding a sword and a second man’s got a bow and arrow in his bag, and the next one’s got a flag and the next one’s got a lantern.  The next one’s got a shield and the next one’s got a spiker... Really spikey!  But the best thing I like about Playmobil Mix ‘em ups is they look all sorts of difference. So I will show you some of them at my exhibition. You can look at them, but you can’t really touch them. Me and my dad made them together. I’m at home and nearly going to school but I like to tell you about some books that my dad reads. The best thing is he loves Playmobil Mix ‘em Ups. I do fashion and he does cool.” 

Ryan Gander (Chester, UK, 1976) is an artist living and working in London and Suffolk. He has established an international reputation through artworks that materialize 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, 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 studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten and the Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, NL.  He has held recent solo exhibitions at Lisson Gallery, London, UK; Contempory Art Gallery, Vancouver; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Singapore Tyler Print Institute di Singapore, SG; Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK; Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City, MX; TARO NASU, Tokyo, JP; gb agency, Paris, FR; Frac Ile-de- France / Le Plateau, Paris, FR; Daiwa Press Viewing Room, Hiroshima, JP; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, MX; Maison Hermès, Tokyo, JP; Jörg Johnen Galerie, Berlin, DE. His recent projects include Art Basel Miami Public Sector, Miami, US; L'Avenir / Looking Forward, La Biennale de Montréal, Montréal, CA; Inside, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR; Imagineering, Okayama Castle, Okayama, JP; Art Park Odrupgaard, Ordrupgaard Museum, Copenhagen, DK; Incredibly shiny stuff that doesn't mean anything, Okayama Kyokuto Hospital, Okayama, JP; The artists have the keys, 2 Willow Road, London, UK; The Human Factor, Hayward Gallery, 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. 

We would like to thank the artist, Rebecca May Gander, Ryan Gander’s Studio and the Lisson Gallery (London, Milan) for their invaluable contributions. The show will be open from November 7, 2015 until January 9, 2016, upon appointment.

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