Sculptures come to life in this new Arts Council Collection touring art exhibition coming to Leicester

Posted by es328 at Jan 20, 2017 12:40 PM |
Media opportunity: Meet Ryan Gander, artist and exhibition curator, and attend a private tour between 3.30pm – 4.30pm on Friday 24 February at Attenborough Arts Centre

Issued by University of Leicester Attenborough Arts Centre on 20 January 2017

Images of artworks available to download here.

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre is delighted to host the exhibition, Night in the Museum: Ryan Gander Curates the Arts Council Collection. This major new Arts Council Collection touring exhibition will see leading British artist, Ryan Gander, choose a selection of work from this world class national loan collection of modern and contemporary British art.

The exhibition includes ‘As old as time itself, slept alone’, by Ryan Gander, one of eight new works commissioned by Arts Council Collection, in 2016, to celebrate its 70th Anniversary.

Night in the Museum brings together over 30 works by artists including Roger Hiorns, Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick, Richard Deacon and Wolfgang Tillmans and provides an opportunity to view this internationally significant collection through the eyes of Ryan Gander, one of the country’s most celebrated young artists, who was also recently awared an OBE for his services to the arts.

The free public preview takes place on Friday 24 February, 5.30pm – 8pm and offers the chance to see the show for the first time at Attenborough Arts Centre, to enjoy a free drink and meet the artist. Ryan Gander has achieved international recognition for a prolific and diverse body of work embracing a vast range of media, from sculpture and installation, to books and games, he has even attempted to introduce a new word and created a unique range of sportswear. Gander deliberately avoids a signature style, preferring instead to remain open to limitless possibilities, unpicking myths and creating new associations, all with a mischievous playfulness, a deadpan wit and a fascination for storytelling.

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 has presented these works so that they appear to gaze at works featuring the colour blue; a colour which is important in Gander’s work, and which for him represents the abstract ideas often found in modern and contemporary art. Gander’s approach provides an entirely fresh view of the Arts Council Collection and of modern and contemporary British art.

Ryan Gander said: “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: or call our box office: 0116 252 2455.

Artist Talk: Ryan Gander in Conversation

Friday 24 February, 12.30pm – 1.30pm, FREE booking advised.

Drop-in Family workshops

Saturdays 25 February – 20 May, 1pm - 3pm, FREE booking advised or sign up on the day.

Explore themes, materials and ideas from the exhibition with our friendly learning team and expert artists. No experience needed.

Guided tours

Thursdays, 2, 16 and 30 March, 6, 13 and 27 April, 11 May, 12.30pm – 1.15pm. FREE, booking advised.
Join our curators, gallery assistants and learning staff for a deeper insight into the exhibition and the ideas behind it.

Attenborough Forum: Night in the Museum with Lewys Holt

Thursday 30 March, 6pm - 7pm, £7 / £5

Join dance artist Lewys Holt as he explores new narratives and relationships between art and the onlooker.

Through innovative and curious dance, comedy, visual arts and theatre, Lewys will interpret the contemporary themes within Ryan Gander’s exhibition, provoking us to look with new eyes at the world around us.

Attenborough Forum: Curating the Arts Council Collection

Thursday 27 April, 6pm - 7.30pm, FREE, booking advised

Join a panel of curators, artists and enthusiasts for a thought-provoking discussion about contemporary art and discover Ryan Gander’s approach to curating the Arts Council Collection for Night in the Museum. This in-conversation event will give you a deeper insight into the curatorial processes that went on behind the scenes. There will also be an audience Q&A with a chance to ask your own questions.




Notes to Editors:

Further details are available from Sam West at email, tel (0116) 223 1529.

About Attenborough Arts Centre

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre prides itself on being accessible and inclusive. With over 19 years of experience, the programme offers courses and workshops, contemporary art, performance and live art, theatre and comedy, live music and jazz, dance, activities for children and families, and more. It is proud to champion emerging talent and disability-led performance companies, supporting those starting their careers. Its outstanding access and inclusive work has been recognised, through multiple awards and grants from Arts Council England, British Council, BBC Children in Need, Leicester Shire Promotions and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Its audience has grown to 55,000 people over the last year.

Attenborough Arts Centre is part of the University of Leicester’s Division of External Relations. Its new exhibition programme will significantly contribute to the University’s corporate social responsibility, wider public engagement and strategic research goals. It will specifically explore issues of human identity and inter-cultural interactions, promote inter-discipline, attract high-calibre collaborators, and encourage new imaginative approaches that culminate in exhibition projects.

About Arts Council Collection

The Arts Council Collection is a national loan collection of British art from 1946 to the present day and holds nearly 8,000 works. With more than 1,000 loans made to over 100 venues a year, it is seen by millions of people annually in public spaces from galleries and museums to hospitals, libraries and universities. Representing one of the most important collections of British modern and contemporary art in the world, it includes work from Francis Bacon, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore to Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley and Grayson Perry. The Collection supports and promotes British artists by acquiring art at an early stage of their careers. The Arts Council Collection is managed by Southbank Centre, London on behalf of Arts Council England. The Sculpture Centre is located at Longside in Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the national lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

For any specific Arts Council Collection press enquiries:

Filipa Mendes
Account Director,SUTTON PR

T: 020 7183 3577

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