Faces of Picasso
The collection selected by Ryan Gander
Drawn from Remai Modern’s extensive collection of linocut prints by Pablo Picasso, British artist Ryan Gander has made a selection that includes all of the portraits from the collection for this inaugural presentation. Displayed in chronological order, Faces of Picasso shows how Picasso developed his images through different trial proofs and colour states. Through the repetition of various stylistic approaches to the portrait and through his experimentation with the linocut technique, we see a glimpse of Picasso’s great range as an artist.
Picasso is remembered by many as a symbol, whose art and life converge to form an extravagant self-portrait. It is through this lens that Gander considers Picasso’s legacy, finding that one cannot look at Picasso’s art without also thinking about the idea of Picasso. The portraits point to the definition of the self, through notions of self-image and self-perspective, in the context of the current generation’s obsession with images. As you move through the gallery it is impossible to escape the gaze of hundreds of eyes looking back at you.
Just as the linocuts give insight into Picasso’s creative process, Ryan Gander’s Fieldwork 2015, situated in the centre of the gallery, gives insight into his creative process. Comprised of 32 objects that move, one-by-one, along a conveyer belt, withholding any sense of the whole—each of which either belongs to or was created by Gander. This idiosyncratic collection of objects comments on the tendency to overshare personal details in contemporary culture and questions who has the authority to ascribe value to objects.
A central theme in Gander’s work is the power of the imagination, especially when piqued by a lack of visibility or access, where one is left to imagine what might be. Imagination was central too for Picasso, for whom it fueled a seemingly insatiable exploration of image making. The exhibition challenges viewers’ expectations of looking at art, crafting a juxtaposition of 20th century mastery with 21st century speculation.
Ryan Gander is a British artist who divides his time between London and Suffolk, UK. In addition to his recent curatorial work with the Arts Council Collection, Night in the Museum, Gander’s work has been featured in Performa 15, New York; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; and ILLUMInations, the 54th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Solo exhibitions of Gander’s work have been held at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium; Aspen Art Museum, USA; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Manchester Art Gallery, UK; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; and The National Museum of Art Osaka, Japan.
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