As you wander through a typical art gallery, do you ever get the feeling you're being watched? A visit to The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre later this month might confirm your suspicions. Leading British artist, Ryan Gander, is bringing sculptures to life for Night in the Museum, a new Arts Council Collection touring exhibition which celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Bringing together over 30 works by artists including Roger Hiorns, Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick, Richard Deacon and Wolfgang Tillmans – it provides an opportunity to view this internationally significant collection through the eyes of Gander, one of the country’s most celebrated young artists, who was also recently awarded an OBE for his services to the arts.
Gander made his selection for this exhibition by establishing a set of rules to "forge unlikely correspondences and unions". He investigated all of the figurative sculptures in the Collection, selecting those which appear to be involved in the act of looking.
He explained: “There is something about switching the roles of the spectator and the spectacle that is fascinating. When I look at sculptures of the human figure I am frequently left thinking of all the things that they’ve seen: the visitors to the museum, school children and art students attempting to earnestly recreate them in pastels and charcoal, the other artworks that surround them, artists and technicians installing, their maker perhaps, discreetly calling in on them with proud eyes. This is the world of the silent onlooker."
Jill Constantine, Head of the Arts Council Collection said: "Ryan Gander is one of the most innovative and exciting artists working in the UK today and we are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to curate an exhibition from the Arts Council Collection. He has deployed that same imaginative approach to curate this show which is not only visually stunning and will be enjoyed by the many visitors who will see it in different venues across the country but will also introduce us to new ways of looking at contemporary art."
The exhibition also includes works by Reg Butler, Patrick Caulfield, Jacob Epstein, Ben Nicholson, Kerry Stewart and Rebecca Warren. Also included are major loans of work by artists including Angela Bulloch, Matthew Darbyshire, Don Brown, Mario García Torres and Thomas Houseago.
The exhibition continues until Sunday 21 May and the galleries are open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 12 noon – 4pm. As part of the exhibition we will host free debates, lectures, tours and family workshops. All events are free but booking is advised. To book please visit our website: www.attenborougharts.com or call our box office: 0116 252 2455.
Main image credit: David Batchelor I Love King's Cross and King's Cross Loves Me, 5 (2001) and Uli Nimptsch Seated Figure (1951), Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London ©the artists 2016. Photo: Anna Arca