black book cover with title handwritten in white out inkHow do we know if a melted snowman ever existed? Was it a rumour? These questions are referenced when considering a recent show by Ryan Gander in New York at Lisson Gallery in 2020 – staged at a time when the artist himself couldn’t travel to be there in person. Another exhibition planned at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton, where Gander was a 2019-20 Hodder Fellow, had to be mounted in his own studio and experienced virtually, similarly constituting a space beyond or in-between seeing and being. (View a virtual tour of the exhibition)

In the new publication, Ryan Gander, A Melted Snowman, Guggenheim Museum curator Katharine Brinson offers a close reading of Gander’s work, being one of the chosen few to have managed to see the 2020 exhibition. Sohrab Mohebbi interviews Gander on the myths and anecdotes that surround his and other works of art, while Ossian Ward charts the elastic passing of time across the entire practice. Also running throughout the book is Staccato Refractions, a text by Gander that was featured in the exhibition in the form of a digital info-totem. Other passages of image, color and text are marshaled into place by book designer David Reinfurt, Lecturer in Visual Arts at Princeton.

On October 3, Reinfurt will moderate a conversation with Gander about the book while an electronic snowstorm runs quietly behind them. Jeff Whetstone, Director of the Program in Visual Arts, introduces the conversation. A Q&A session with the audience will follow.

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COVID-19 Guidance + Updates

Per Princeton University policy, all guests must either be fully vaccinated, or have recently tested negative (via PCR within 72 hours or via rapid antigen test within 8 hours of the scheduled visit) and be prepared to show proof if asked, or wear a face covering when indoors and around others.


symbol for wheelchair accessibilityThe Hurley Gallery is wheelchair accessible. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Students in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email at least one week in advance of the event date.

About the Artists

ryan gander in his studio, wearing white beanie and striped shirt and vest

Artist and 2019-20 Hodder Fellow at Princeton Ryan Gander. Photo by Tom Mannion.

Ryan Gander is an artist living and working in Suffolk and London. He has established an international reputation through artworks that materialize in many different forms from sculpture to film, writing, graphic design, installation, performance and more besides.

Through associative thought processes that connect the everyday and the esoteric, the overlooked and the commonplace, Gander’s work involves a questioning of language and knowledge, a reinvention of the modes of appearance and creation of an artwork. His work can be reminiscent of a puzzle, a network with multiple connections, the fragments of an embedded story, a huge set of hidden clues to be deciphered, encouraging viewers to make their own connections and invent their own narrative in order to solve the charade with its many solutions, staged by the artist.

Gander studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL and the Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, NL. He was awarded the 2007 Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts, in 2006 won the ABN AMRO prize of the Netherlands, in 2005 he was short listed for the British art Prize ‘Becks Futures’ at the ICA in London and won the Baloise Art Statement Prize at Art Basel, in 2009 he was awarded the Zürich Art Prize.


david reinfurt

Princeton Lecturer in Visual Arts David Reinfurt. Photo courtesy of David Reinfurt

David Reinfurt is an independent graphic designer and writer in New York City. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1993 and received an MFA from Yale University in 1999. Reinfurt worked as an interaction designer with IDEO (San Francisco) from 1995–1997. At IDEO, he was the lead designer for the New York City MTA Metrocard vending machine interface, still in use by millions of people every day. On the first business day of 2000, Reinfurt formed O-R-G inc., a flexible graphic design practice composed of a constantly shifting network of collaborators. Together with graphic designer Stuart Bailey, Reinfurt established Dexter Sinister in 2006 — a workshop in the basement at 38 Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side in New York City. Dexter Sinister published the semi-annual arts magazine Dot Dot Dot from 2006-2011. With Stuart Bailey and Angie Keefer in 2012, Reinfurt set up The Serving Library, a cooperatively-built archive that assembles itself by publishing.

Reinfurt began teaching at Princeton University in 2010. Before that, he held teaching positions at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University School of Art. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. Reinfurt’s honors include the 2016-17 Mark Hampton Rome Prize fellow in Design at the American Academy in Rome and a 2010 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship in Architecture and Design. In 2018 he co-wrote the book Muriel Cooper (MIT Press) about the pioneering designer of the same name.


Presented By

  • Program in Visual Arts
  • Princeton University