October Gallery will participate in Frieze New York
New Prints by El Anatsui
6 April - 13 May 2017
October Gallery, London, is excited to announce the preview of a new body of print works by El Anatsui, Benchmarks, created in collaboration with Factum Arte, an extraordinary studio based in Madrid renowned for its synergy of past, present and future techniques. This will be the first presentation of this remarkable series.
Though globally-renowned for his iconic hangings of aluminium bottle-tops, Anatsui’s artistic practice has always been rooted in the discovery of new media. Having graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, the artist set about ‘forgetting everything (he) had been taught’ in the search for new modes of expression, and the materials needed to convey them. Following the imperative that an artist should work ‘with whatever his environment throws up’, Anatsui created a wide variety of novel sculptural forms with materials that range from tropical hardwoods to cassava graters, driftwood, obituary printing plates and aluminium bottle-tops. His interest is in the physical history of the materials themselves, the stories they contain and the journeys that bring them into his hands. It was just such a remarkable journey that first led the artist to work with bottle-tops when he happened upon several bags of them lying discarded by a local liquor shop and found inscribed within a hidden history of trade in West Africa. At the age of 73, and after a fifty-year career, crowned with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th Venice Biennale, Anatsui has found a new source of inspiration in the residual marks and traces of his own art practice and has poured all his energies into exploring these newfound possibilities.
Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga:
Tushauriane – Let’s Talk About It
18 May – 29 July 2017
October Gallery presents a new exhibition of works by Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga. This will be her second solo exhibition in London.
Born in Kenya in1960, Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga first studied art at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, before continuing her studies at UCLA, USA. She now lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. Gakunga has been included in several exhibitions in the USA, UK, France, Brazil and Poland. Her UK debut solo exhibition, Ituĩka – Transformation, was presented at October Gallery in 2013. She was long-listed for the FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Awards, 2016.
Gakunga’s works are predominantly wall-hanging sculptures ingeniously created from tin cans, steel wire and oxidised sheet metal. While the techniques Gakunga uses are common to the fibre arts across many traditions, her chosen materials are not; corroded sheet metal, rusted tin cans and stainless steel wire all follow the concept of Jua Kali, a Swahili adage which translates literally as ‘under the hot sun’ and refers to the serendipitous outcomes born out of discarded and weathered materials. Here, nothing goes to waste and what is considered unwanted material becomes the medium for a new focus of attention.
Most Recent Exhibitions
2 February - 1 Apr 2017
October Gallery presents Transvangarde 2017, an exhibition of outstanding works by an international array of contemporary artists including, Tian Wei, Alexis Peskine, Govinda Sah ‘Azad’ and selected works by Brion Gysin and Kenji Yoshida amongst others. These artists, who have all migrated from one country to another, share their particular visions of the world by using their work to express their trans-cultural experiences.
1 December 2016 – 28 January 2017
October Gallery, London is excited to announce reMembering, an exhibition of new works by Sylvie Franquet. The artist’s first solo presentation will run from 1st December to 28th January.
Sylvie Franquet is a discovery. Born in Belgium, she read Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ghent and Cairo universities. Much of her life has been spent immersed in the Mediterranean world, reading, travelling widely throughout the region, and writing extensively on Middle Eastern culture. Out of this has come the unique artistic voice in reMembering, which layers word and image, ancient myth and everyday life, in textile, tapestries, collage and embroidered cloth dolls.
Franquet reworks found tapestries, showing a preference for those based on canonical works of art. She overlays these with further images and with found words from poets and thinkers, and text messages from friends. She cites Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone da Pensiere, with its dense collation of thoughts, ephemera and philosophies, as influencing her approach. The laborious process of unpicking, repairing and reworking can take months, resulting in a metamorphosis achieved by the magic power of the needle.
Franquet’s work has been featured in Vogue and Elle, and her art was included in the critically-acclaimed exhibition More Material, curated by Duro Olowu at Salon 94 in New York. She also participated in the 2015 Féminin Pluriel exhibition at Fondation Dar Bellarj in Marrakech. The October Gallery exhibition will be her first major presentation, and the first public showing of the Poupées, spirit birds and The Wayward Sisters.
ALL IN THE SAME BOAT
7 October – 26 November 2016
Internationally acclaimed artist Romuald Hazoumé (b. 1962) will present an ambitious new exhibition on the theme of immigration at October Gallery during October and November 2016. This will be the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the London based gallery and will consist of three major installations, paintings, photography and masks. Hazoumè’s works are humorous and wryly political. His assemblages are specifically tied to his vision of society and his take on global problems. Hazoumè’s timely exhibition, which will feature a five-metre long crashed boat and a dice made of thousands of found flip-flops, addresses the movement of people across the world and reflects upon the dramatic narratives created by migrants forced by war or famine from their home country.
Romuald Hazoumè is a multi-faceted artist: a painter, sculptor, photographer and filmmaker, his powerful creations mark him as one of the most innovative and exciting personalities to emerge from Africa. Hazoumè’s work first came to prominence in the U.K. with the inclusion of his ‘masks’ in the Saatchi Gallery’s ‘Out of Africa’ show, in 1992. In the past twenty years his work has been widely shown throughout Europe, the United States and Asia, including the British Museum, the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and recently this year, in two different sites at Gagosian, Paris.
In 2007, Romuald Hazoumè was awarded the Arnold-Bode-Prize at documenta 12.
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