Night In The Museum Event at Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre

Night In The Museum Event at Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre

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.

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