Ryan Gander Y gêm (My neotonic contribution to Modernism), 2017
Wood, polystyrene, artificial fur balls
118 x 75 x 60 cm (sculpture)
80 x 80 x 80 cm (plinth)
Y gêm (My neotonic contribution to Modernism) takes as point of departure a 1918 abstract sculpture by the Belgian Modernist artist George Vantongerloo (b. 1886, Antwerp; d. 1965, Paris). Vantongerloo, who was greatly influenced by his encounter with the Dutch De Stijl movement, pursued his interest in geometrical relationships and algebraic formulas beginning in 1918. Another art historical reference are Pop artist Claes Oldenburg's "soft sculptures" from the early 1960s.
Ryan Gander short-circuits this development by first treating the older master's hard-edged sculpture with a computer program that enlarges the work and rounds angular shapes, before covering it in a thick layer of orange artificial fur balls, transforming the sculpture into a soft, fuzzy and inflated-looking form.