Jan Rydén is a painter, curator and writer whose work often contains a playful double coding. His ‘paintings’ are both works on canvas or paper as well as site-specific installations with sticky tape, paint and stretcher frames. In printed forms these paintings can be transformed to woodcuts or digitally manipulated illustrations.
Jan Rydén lives and works in Stockholm. He has studied at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (2002-2008), as well as at the architecture program at the Royal Institute of Art.
His artist book Allborgarrätten: The Right to the City as a Swedish Tradition was published in 2016 (Arvinius+Orfeus). Allborgarrätten is a word invented by Jan Rydén. It takes its cue from the Swedish allemansrätten; the right of public access in nature. This right is deeply connected to Swedish national identity. With most Swedes today no longer living in the countryside, Jan Rydén has set out exploring an urban equivalent. Even though his investigation takes on a particularly nordic context it is related to an international debate on the right to the city. The work leading up to allborgarrätten included public talks as well as paintings, drawings and installations. It has been exhibited at Göteborgs konsthall (2016) Södertälje konsthall (2015), Husby konsthall (2015) and Verkstad Rum för konst, Norrköping (2015).
Jan Rydén was also the initiator and one of the four participants of the artistic research project Thinking Through Painting (2009- ongoing). The other participants are Kristina Bength, artist, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, curator, and Sigrid Sandström, artist. It was presented at the exhibition Thinking Through Painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts 23 august 2014- 2 november 2014. The book Studio Talks:Thinking Through Painting was published by Arvinius + Orfeus, 2014. The group had a workshop/presentation at Konsthall C 2011. The project has been supported by, among others, the Royal Institute of Art (Kungl. Konsthögskolan).
Jan Rydén is one of three founders of Projekt Reko (2007-2011), www.projektreko.org, which investigates art as an occupation. It publicizes the working conditions for artists at Swedish art institutions. The project has published two reports, ranking lists and seals of approval.
Solo exhibitions: Candyland (2013), Tekniska nämndhuset (2012), Linnman Gallery (2012), ”An Inquiry into the Nature of Plastic Idols”, MFA Show, Galleri Mejan, Stockholm (2008), ”Idyll”, Galleri Mejan, Stockholm (2005)
He has also exhibited at the show Stockholm at Large at Färgfabriken (2012-2013), in collaboration with Canadian artist Orestes Grediaga. He exhibited and organized seminars at Art Program Nordic Architecture Fair (2011) with Peder Wennersten, at Konsthall C (2011, 2010), at Jakobsbergs konsthall (2009), The house of culture/Kulturhuset in Stockholm, the University park in Linköping and Fredsgatan 12 (2008). He participated in FUTURUM 2008, Galleri Operating Place, Horror Vacui, at the Royal Institute, Stockholm (2006).
In collections: Stockholms läns landsting, Järfälla kommun, Universitetsparken, Linköpings University, Project for Tensta allé, with Ulrika Wachtmeister, Tensta, TenstaBo 06. Private collectors.
Selected publications: ”Allborgarrätten: The Right to the City as a Swedish Tradition. Försök till en urban allemansrätt (2016)”, ”Studio Talks:Thinking Through Painting”, Eds. Kristina Bength, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Jan Rydén, Sigrid Sandström, 2014, ”The Eternal State of Being Busy” in What Are You Working On?, 2014, Ed. Jacqelyn Davis, ”Leidsche Rijn Re-visited: Et in Arcadia Ego” i Cinema Studio, Ed. Apolonija Sustersic, 2009. ”Vita kilar” (with Martin Karlsson) i ”Skräpgrönt”, Ed. Markus Degerman, 2007 and ”Wandering about, Drifting” in ”Shifting boundaries” Ed. Regina Möller, 2006.
Teaching Fine Arts, Urbanism: KTH Architecture (2016), Konstfack, University college of Arts, craft and design (2014), Umeå Academy of Fine Arts (2013), Royal Institute of Art (2012)