Ryan was an artist-in-residence in 2003. He designed the programme for 'Let's Get Married Today' and researched a piece of work centred around the Midland Hotel in Morecombe. In June 2003 GA commissioned 'Loose Associations (Version 1.1.)', a touring lecture presented by Ryan using video, images and sound. The piece made its debut at the Ruskin Museum, Coniston, and the format of 'Loose Associations' is reminiscent to that of a pub conversation, roaming between a network of trivia and everyday phenomena. The lecture continues to tour with further version patches.
Over the past decade Ryan has achieved superstar international art status, even after 'taking a year out' in 2007. He makes sculptures, drawings, films and installations, and often uses the strategy of commissioning other people to make or complete the work. His art is populated by recurring fictional characters and narratives, and he readily plays with histories of iconic or utopian modernist design.
Ryan's ongoing preoccupations are to do with notions of origination, authorship and how meaning can change with time and location. He also attempts to engage the viewer more as an active participant in artistic experience, reasoning “if you let the spectator discover something on their own terms it holds more significance than it being handed on a plate.”
Alongside his prolific art-making, in 2006 he co-directed and curated, with his wife Rebecca May-Marston, the not-for-profit Associates gallery in Hoxton. He has also made numerous books (several of which are in the Lawson Park library), often in close collaboration with designers and editors Stuart Bailey and Will Holder.
2010 Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich, Switzerland
2008 Heralded as the new black, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
2007 CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA
2003 Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, Holland
2008 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, USA
2008 Sydney Biennial, Australia
2008 Whitstable Biennale
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