About three years ago, Haus Konstruktiv
, together with the insurance company Zurich Group, established the "Zurich Art Prize". The third winner of this prize, after Carsten Nicolai and Tino Sehgal, is the internationally renowned Ryan Gander (born 1976) of Britain. With this Ryan Gander solo exhibition, Haus Konstruktiv is presenting an artistic position which constitutes a major contribution to contemporary art and also seeks a cross-generational dialogue with art history from the beginning of the 20th century onward. At the same time, the work of the 84-year-old artist Franz Mon can be seen as part of the "Visionary Collection" exhibition series. Mon is one of the most important pioneers of concrete and visual poetry.
Under the exhibition title "Approach it slowly from the left", Haus Konstruktiv is presenting over twenty works by Ryan Gander, most of which he has specially created for this Zurich-based museum. For instance, for the large-scale installation on the ground floor, Ryan Gander intensively explored the fundamental conflict between Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, founders of the artists' group "De Stijl". In Haus Konstruktiv, Gander transforms this heated debate into a broad field comprising hundreds of arrows, which appear as if they are being fired into the floor of the museum on a diagonal line of flight. In his works, Ryan Gander poetically urges us to consider different mindsets, influences and objectives in art.
The works of the young conceptual artist Ryan Gander interconnect various backdrops from the everyday, from art history and from cultural history to form a far-reaching associative network. Gander himself speaks of "core samples, which he extracts from the vast inventory of worldly experience", in order to test their associative and narrative potential in surprising, but well-thought-out combinations. Alongside photographs, video installations and sculptures, Gander's artistic practice also includes talks and conversations which resemble performances.
Ryan Gander has recently been exhibited in important exhibitions in Villa Arson, Nice (2009), the South London Gallery (2008), Kunsthalle St. Gallen (2008), the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco (2007), the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007), the Tate Britain, London (2006) and the MUMOK, Vienna (2006), for example.
With the solo exhibition "Talking pictures", Haus Konstruktiv is honouring Franz Mon (born 1926), one of the most important pioneers of concrete and visual poetry. In Mon's work, text, image and sound are treated as elements of equal value. With his cross-media approach, Mon succeeds in blurring, crossing and reciprocally penetrating the boundaries between poetry, visual art and acoustics.
The first strip collages, rip collages, typewriter images and poster texts appear in 1960 and from 1964 the so-called centred collages. In the 1970s and 1980s, recycling collages, majuscule collages and object collages follow. In the collages, Mon uses found material such as newspapers, magazines, posters, packaging, waste fabric, waste paper and his own texts, dissecting them or tearing them apart and playfully combining them to create new formal arrangements. Since the mid-1960s, Mon's visual works have been shown in several solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad, including the 1970 Biennale in Venice and at Helmhaus Zürich.
In cooperation with Literaturhaus Zürich, Franz Mon shall give a public reading in his exhibition at Haus Konstruktiv on Sunday the 20th of June at 11:15 am. Subsequently, Beatrice Stoll, Manager of Literaturhaus Zürich, and Dorothea Strauss, Director of Haus Konstruktiv, will conduct a discussion with the artist.