I know about creative block and I know not to call it by name Curated by Ryan Gander
Lisson Gallery Milan, Via Zenale, 3
16 September – 5 November 2011
Lisson Gallery Milan is pleased to announce a group show of ten Lisson artists, curated by Ryan Gander. The exhibition marks the opening of Lisson Gallery’s new space in Milan, bringing its international programme directly to the Italian contemporary art scene for the first time. With newly created works by Cory Arcangel, Ryan Gander, Haroon Mirza and Jonathan Monk as well as existing works by Allora & Calzadilla, Art & Language, Gerard Byrne, Spencer Finch, Giulio Paolini and Lawrence Weiner, the exhibition exemplifies the gallery’s cross-generational and innovative programme over its 44-year history.
Lisson Gallery Milan Courtesy Lisson Gallery and Andrea Martiradonna
The exhibition explores the ebb and flow characteristic of the creative process; the stumbling blocks artists face in their daily practice; the ideas hidden in distraction, detours and seemingly unproductive pursuits; the moment before an image manifests itself, when a work is still unstable and in development. Many of the works in the exhibition resist closure in that they remain open to interpretation and explore the abstraction, negation or instability of a concept or image. Gander explains:
"An artist’s vocation often involves the avoidance of activity, as much as keeping busy. How many times have we heard clichés related to the over-working of a painting, the over-editing of a text or a concept becoming clouded by the complexity of its own meaning. Often it seems when we stop and walk away, go for a drive in the car, sit in a pub with friends, put a record on and make a cup of tea - allow the world to take hold of us - that the magic dust begins to fall. And on a good day when the tap is fully open, it can come with palpitations and stomach wrenching excitement that makes you double over in surprise. I think that's the beginnings of explaining why being an artist is such a privilege. The rest, however, happens in the studio: staring at a sheet of white paper with a fear of making a move, turning it over and over to see if the reverse side will inspire a beginning of something. I'm not naturally a superstitious man, but I know about creative block, and I know not to call it by name."
Ryan Gander Courtesy Lisson Gallery