David Ryan



Christian Wolff


Christian Wollf and David Ryan rehearsing as part of an Apartment House concert at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge 2004

David Ryan

David Ryan is a visual artist and writer based in London and Cambridge, who is also actively involved in contemporary music. He studied at Liverpool and Coventry Polytechnics, and also on a travelling German Scholarship to Hamburg, Lubeck and Berlin. His extensive writing on art and music includes pieces on Jessica Stockholder, Bernard Frize, John Riddy, Shirley Kaneda, Fabian Marcaccio, Franz Ackermann, David Reed, Katherina Grosse, Earle Brown, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, Helmut Lachenmann and Jonathan Lasker for various art publications including Modern Painters, Dissonanz in Switzerland, Leonardo Music Journal, San Francisco, Art Papers USA, Contemporary Visual Arts, Contemporary, London, Artpress, Paris, and Tempo, and Art Monthly, London. Catalogue contributions include Hybrids for Tate Liverpool, and Jessica Stockholder/Fabian Marcaccio for Sammlung Goetz, Munich. He has given lectures on abstract painting including venues such as the UNAM (National University of Mexico), Mexico, Warwick Arts Centre, Forum Konkrete Kunst, Erfurt, Germany, Dahl Gallery, Lucerne, Switzerland, and Tate Liverpool, UK. His publication Talking Painting: Dialogues with 12 Contemporary Abstract Painters (2002) is published by Routledge. He has lectured at Christies, Sothebys, and is currently reader in Fine Art at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. He has exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery (Open Exhibition), London, British Abstract Painters, Flowers West, Los Angeles, USA; Painting and Time at the Nunnery Gallery, London, British Abstract Painting 2001 at Flowers East, London, Surface Connections, Holden Gallery Manchester, Illuminate at Jasmine Studios, Hammersmith, London, Flux at London Bridge Tunnels, On the Way to Things at Churchill College, Cambridge, Lines of Enquiry at Kettles Yard, Cambridge, and Transfer at Keith Talent gallery, London.
As a performer Ryan has also been actively involved in contemporary music and performed for Danish Radio; Huddersfield International Contemporary Music Festival; New Music Marathon, Northwestern University, Chicago; The Barbican Art Centre, London (Cage Uncaged, 2004), Line-Point-Line, Los Angeles, and is Director of Dal Niente Projects which presents neglected modernist and contemporary experimental works in London. He has also collaborated with numerous improvising musicians such as John Edwards, John Butcher, Eddie Prevost and numerous others, and has a longstanding duo with clarinetist Ian Mitchell. Italian composer Nicola Sani collaborated on Non tutte ie Isole…an ‘opera’ for three instrumentalists and sound projection in October 2003, presenting a three-part video projection. Other collaborations with Sani include AchaB 3 at the 2006 Synthese Festival, Bourges France (a 3 screen video). He has also composed Prelude/Postlude 2, part of Sonic Illuminations presented at the BFI, London in 2008. Ryan has had numerous awards including Arts Council of England, Jazz Services, Britten-Pears; Holst and Hinrichsen Foundations; Sonora, Rome, as well as Italian and American Government grants. He was presented at the 2008 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival with Nicola Sani's AchaB in a new version. His recent films include Knots and Fields (New Music at Darmstadt – with interviews with Pierre Boulez and Brian Ferneyhough), a collaboration directed by Andrew Chesher, and Via di San Teodoro 8 (2010 -11). Recent exhibitions and screenings include Crossing Abstraction, 2009 at the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethianen, Berlin; and screenings at Berlin Konzerthaus, 2011; International Music Institute, Darmstadt; Viewfinder, Seoul, Korea, 2011; Italian Cultural Institutes, London and Stockholm, De la Warr Pavillion, 2010/11, and All Frontiers Festival, Monfalcone, Italy 2011, and screenings scheduled for Brussels and New York in 2012.




2009 Arts Council England: Grants for the Arts (individual).
2007 Jazz Services Tour Grant (with Bruce Coates and John Edwards), Arts Council.
2004 Awards from Britten-Pears Foundation, Holst Foundation and Hinrichsen Foundation
2004 Award for Dal Niente 3, Arts Council of England.
2003 Jazz Services Award for a national tour (with John Edwards and Bruce Coates).
2002 Awards for projects, Hinrichsen Foundation, Holst Foundation, Britten-Pears Foundation, the American Government, Consejo Internaticionale artistes, Mexico, Japan Foundation, Italian Government (via Sonora, Rome), Jazz Services UK.
1999 Grant, US Government. External Activities 2007 Consultancy, Eccles Centre for American Studies, British Library.



2012 ‘Audio Kino’, Rio Cinema/Soundfjord Gallery, London
2012 Via di San Teodoro 8, Issue Project Room, New York
2011 Galerie Art Space H, Seoul, Korea/ All Frontiers festival, Italy
2011 ‘Darmstadt – Classics of the avant-garde’ ISSUE Project Space, Brooklyn, New York
2011 Berlin Philharmoniker feature on Scelsi (screening extract of Via di San Teodoro 8) Berlin Konzerthaus
2011 ‘Via di San Teodoro 8’ (video) Italian Cultural Institute, Stockholm
2010 ‘Via di San Teodoro 8’ (Video)Fondazione Isabella Scelsi, Rome
2010 Touring exhibition of video ‘Via San di Teodoro 8’, De La Warr Centre, Bexhill, Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge and Italian Cultural Institute, London
2010 ‘Knots and Fields – New music at Darmstadt’ (with Andrew Chesher, Video), Kettles Yard, Cambridge; Kinorex, Darmstadt, Germany
2009 ‘Crossing Abstraction’ Kunstraum Bethianen, Berlin, Germany
2009 ‘mini-meta’, Beardsmore Gallery, London 2009 ‘meta-’, Ruskin Gallery, ARU, Cambridge
2008 ‘Same as it ever was…’ Painting at Chelsea 1990-2007, University of the Arts, London
2008 Video Installation with Nicola Sani, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
2007 Video Installation, the Malt Room, Suffolk
2006 Video Installation with Nicola Sani, AchaB, Synthese Festival, Bourges, France




2011 London improvisers Orchestra, Freedom of the City Festival, curated by Evan Parker (with Phil Minton and Magda Mayas)
2011 New Music Morning (with Joe Zeitlin, cello) Kettles Yard, Cambridge
2010 London improvisers Orchestra, Freedom of the City Festival, Conway Hall, curated by Evan Parker (with Leo Wadada Smith)
2009 Director, performance & video, Nuova Consonanza Festival, Rome
2009 Co-Director, workshops and performances, Aperto Festival, Reggio Emilia, Italy
2009 ‘Cage and After’ three events organised for the British Library
2009 Earle Brown: Dec 1952 at Chelsea Space (curated by Cally Spooner)
2008 Karlheinz Stockhausen: Sus den Sieben Tagen, Cut and Splice Destival, London
2008 ‘The Music of Earle Brown’ in collaboration with Trinity Guildhall, London, Kettles yard, Cambridge
2007 Ken Vandermark in London; organised for British Library, Conway hall, London
2007 David Ryan, Gianni Trovalescu, Alberto Popola, Leonardo di Milano, Rome, including performance of ‘Ligeia’ (composer: DR)




2012 ‘Opera Outside of Itself’, the international Journal of Performance Arts and Digital media, Intellect Press/University of Chicago
2011 ‘Sedimentations – some notes on Schoenberg’s Beigleitmusik’, CINEJ, University of Pittsburgh
2011 ‘Anri Sala at the Serpentine’, Art Monthly, Nov issue
2011 ‘Painting’ Documents of Contemporary Art, Whitechapel Gallery Publications/MIT Press (interview with B. Frize)
2011 ‘Marginalia’ in Barbara Sturm 1 (monograph), Vienna
2011 ‘Tracking Sounds – Approaches to Audio-Visuality’, AVANCA CINEMA, Vol 1, Portugal
2011 ‘Andy Holden at Kettle’s Yard’ Art Monthly, July issue
2010 ‘Be Glad for the Song has no End’, Art Monthly, Sept Issue
2010 'Christian Wolff: Changing the System' in Christian Wolff, ed. Phil Thomas, Ashgate Academic Press
2009 Forthcoming: ‘Experimental Music and the Visual Arts’ in The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music, Ashgate Academic Press
2008 Luigi Nono: Promoteo, Art Monthly, June Issue
2008 Francois Morrelet, Art Monthly, May issue
2008 Chance and Contingency: Carolyn Brown, Art Monthly, April Issue
2007 Christian Wolff, British Library Publications Key Lectures/Talks


Conferences and Invited Talks


2012 Le comble d’art, Ecole Superieure Grenoble-Valence, France
2012 CADRE public research talks, University of Wolverhampton
2011 Marginalia – Towards an Invisible College, Whitechapel Gallery, London
2010 AVANCA CINEMA, Avanca, Portugal 2009 Contemporary Painting and History – keynote speaker, Tate Britain
2008 Sonic Illuminations, BFI Southbank, London
2008 Between Categories 2: Music and the Moving Image, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London
2007 Between Categories: Music and the Moving Image, Arts Picturehouse / Kettles Yard, Cambridge
2007 Art Monthly Roadshow, Edinburgh Festival
2007 Tate Modern – ‘Long Weekend’ Discussion (broadcast on Resonance FM) with Mark Nash and Cecilia Wee

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