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Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 40 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.

Forthcoming Exhibitions

Alexis PeskineKassu Demdemi, 2020

Alexis PeskineZo, 2020.

ALEXIS PESKINE
FIRE FIGURES

2 October -14 November 2020
October Gallery is pleased to announce Fire Figures, an exhibition of new works by Alexis Peskine. This follows the success of his debut solo show Power Figures at October Gallery in 2017.

Alexis Peskine’s signature works are large-scale mixed media ‘portraits’ of the African diaspora, which are rendered by hammering nails of different gauge, with pin-point accuracy, into wood stained with natural materials such as coffee, mud and hibiscus. By applying gold leaf to the nails, he creates breath-taking composite images. He depicts figures that portray strength and perseverance, with energy reminiscent of the spiritually charged Minkisi ‘power figures’ of the Congo Basin. The nails Peskine uses speak about the Black Experience, transcendence and pain.

Fire Figures is a continuation and expansion of the key concepts in the series Power Figures. The striking new works explore the frustration of the African Diaspora which continues to face systems of violence, racism and displacement. Peskine has ‘always felt the fire of injustice’ throughout his life, a fire which fuels his works. For him, fire also represents an opportunity for change, a change his subjects are striving for but which has yet to come.

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Benji Reid, Untied, Giclée Print, 80 x 80 cm.

Benji Reid, Untitled, 2020.
Giclée Print, 120 x 120 cm.
BENJI REID
Laugh at Gravity

Postponed – new date to be announced

Laugh at Gravity is Benji Reid’s first solo exhibition at October Gallery. This highly anticipated exhibition follows the artist’s showcase at the 2019 edition of AKAA (Also Known As Africa), Paris and the 2020 edition of ICTAF (Investec Cape Town Art Fair) where the artist’s work enthralled audiences.

Benji Reid considers himself a Choreo-Photolist; a term he coined to encapsulate his unique practice where theatricality, choreography and photography meet in the image. His breathtaking photographs, composed primarily of self-portraits in incredible, anti-gravitational poses with a medley of props, draws the audience into a different dimension. In the hyper-realities he presents the subject is liberated by acts of the artist’s imagination. Whether exploring life as an outsider; issues surrounding mental health or complexities of fatherhood, Reid makes the audience part of the discussion. Each perfectly poised portrait set against vivid backdrops and adorned with fantastical objects addresses the world we live in. Everyday objects like a paddle, a sparkler or a stool transform and transport the subject into an alternative reality which offers protection and liberation.

The photographer Robert Golden describes in detail how Reid ‘’turns the trashcan into a rocket, he will use motors contrived to fly higher and faster than the crowd. His anti-gravitational mysteries, which fail to reflect the ‘real’ world as it seems to be, does what fine art can do in troubled times. He makes us smile – a victory in itself, but more, he provides a greater reality, one worthy of his talent.’’

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Most Recent Exhibitions

Tian Wei, Red, 2011. Acrylic on canvas, 298 x 177 cm.

FOCUS ON TIAN WEI
3 - 26 September 2020

October Gallery will exhibit a selection of artworks by Tian Wei, renowned for his striking monochromatic canvases in bold colours that explore the written word and the plasticity of meaning.

Both theoretically and formally, Tian Wei’s work constructs a bridge between things that appear as polar opposites or complementary pairs. Using the Chinese idea of contraries held in balance (yin and yang), words and quotations in minute script fill the backdrop of Tian’s paintings, forming a patterned ground on which larger semi-abstract shapes are drawn. On trying to read these foregrounded lines as Chinese characters, however, anyone familiar with Chinese ideographic script is soon frustrated, since the unfamiliar writing can only be resolved in English. In fact, the cursive lines spell out simple English words, such as ‘sexy,’ ‘soul’ and ‘red.’ These selected English adjectives and nouns represented in Chinese calligraphic style give the viewer insight into the artist’s lived experience of an emerging synergy between eastern and western sensibilities.

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El Anatsui, AG & BA (detail), 2014.
Aluminium and copper wire and nylon string,
dimensions variable

Focus on El Anatsui
15 July - Now extended to 29 August 2020

The Gallery will be showing metal works and a selection of prints created in collaboration with Factum Arte, Madrid.

El Anatsui is undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of the present time. Throughout his long career, El Anatsui has focused his many interests to examine a wide range of subjects. He has also explored an extraordinary range of media from cement, ceramics and tropical hardwoods in his early years, to corrugated iron, cassava graters, milk-tin lids and aluminium bottle-tops in his later installations. Today, he is best known for his mesmerising works composed of many thousands of aluminium bottle-tops.

Triumphant Scale, a major survey exhibition of the artist's work, curated by Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu, is currently being shown at Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, until 1st November 2020.

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William S. BurroughsWarhol, A Portrait in TV Dots..., 1992.
 Spray paint on paper, 53 x 49 cm

William s. Burroughs
as seen at Frieze 2020
24 June - 11 July 2020

October Gallery exhibited the work of William S. Burroughs in Frieze’s virtual viewing room in May 2020. This exhibition will present selected works from the viewing room in the physical gallery space.

Burroughs practised visual art throughout his life, for decades he produced photographs, collages and film, then in his later years he became a prolific painter.

Burroughs thought in images and symbols, this is visible in both his writing and paintings. He was influenced by process art, recombinant art, and incorporating text into paintings.

Born in 1914 in St. Louis, Missouri, William S. Burroughs was a cultural innovator, writer and artist. In 1981, Burroughs moved from New York City to Lawrence, Kansas. From 1987 onward, he prolifically created visual art including painting and shotgun pieces.

Burroughs' work has been exhibited in over fifty galleries and museums including the Royal Academy of Arts, the Centre Pompidou, the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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October Gallery Events

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October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367