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Welcome to the website of the October Gallery, the first London gallery to exhibit cutting-edge contemporary art from around the planet and leading pioneer of the Transvangarde - the shape of things to come.

The Royal Academy of Arts elects
El Anatsui as an Honorary Academician

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Current Exhibition

Owusu-Ankomah, Microcron Begins No. 10, 2013.
Acrylic on canvas, 190 x 180 cm.
Photo © Joachim Fliegner.

Owusu-Ankomah, Microcron Begins No. 19, 2013.
Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 280 cm.
Photo © Joachim Fliegner.

Owusu-Ankomah, Microcron Begins No. 1, 2012.
Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 139 cm.
Photo © Joachim Fliegner.
Owusu Ankomah
MICROCRON BEGINS
showing until 25 October 2014

In his second solo exhibition at October Gallery the renowned artist Owusu-Ankomah will exhibit a new body of works on canvas.

Born in Sekondi, Ghana, in 1956, Owusu-Ankomah pursued studies in Fine Arts at Ghanatta College in Accra before moving to Bremen, Germany where he now lives and works. His charged paintings on canvas depict an alternate world wherein monumental human figures – his core motif – are shown moving within an ocean of signs that surround, support and, in fact, define them. The way in which these figures coexist and interact with various symbolic sets has developed through distinct phases over time, reflecting Owusu-Ankomah’s own journey of spiritual discovery. His early work drew heavily on the ancient traditions of African rock-painting and masquerade, before his figures shed their masks and body paintings to become unashamedly visible. Finally, naked and powerful, these eloquent actors became covered in scripts of complex symbols that, in a studied trompe l’oeil effect, camouflage their finely sculpted bodies against alternating backgrounds of relevant and significant signs.

Using a palette of new colours, Owusu-Ankomah’s latest work further develops these possibilities, adding further visual signs of his own invention to the customary lexicon of adinkra symbols which each represent a particular concept used by the Akan-speaking peoples of Ghana. In the same Akan language kusum refers to sacred sites involved in the secret performances of mystery rites. Owusu-Ankomah extends his visual explorations in novel directions by developing innovative symbols, such as the Microcron – the circle of shining orbs signifying ‘universes inside universes,’ which so entrances the figure in the image above. This unique symbolic logic yokes together ancient traditions of secret knowledge with current speculation about the mysterious nature of reality derived from theoretical physics, which predicts the parallel coexistence of multi-dimensional universes within a single multiverse.

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Most Recent Exhibitions

Ablade Glover, Red Townscape III, 2010.
Oil on canvas, 92 x 76 cm

Ablade Glover, Jubilation II, 2009.
Oil on canvas, 102 x 102 cm
Ablade Glover
80th ANNIVERSARY
3 July – 2 August 2014

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, October Gallery will present an exhibition of paintings by the renowned artist Ablade Glover, celebrating a lifelong passion for the colour, energy and vibrancy of his native Ghana.

Now in his 80th year, Glover will exhibit a selection of works which represent his insatiable passion for movement, activity and colour. Using, a palette knife he applies his oils in a thick impasto.  Heavy layers of bright colours invoke the bustling crowds, the heat, thriving market stalls and dusty shanty towns of his acclaimed market paintings.  Individual figures emerge from the crowds and it is this endless movement of the masses which underpins Glover’s market scenes.  The roughly textured surfaces of his canvases recall an earth parched by the powerful African sun.

Accentuated by his choice of vibrant colours expressing the visual richness of the African continent, Glover amasses energy from his subjects. Every singular vivid fleck of colour represents the vigour recognisable in each of his works. Drawing themes from his environment, Glover effortlessly transports the viewer into the scene. Often the perspective that Glover employs is from a high vantage point overlooking the town, beach or crowd below. From this position, the viewer becomes an involved and captivated onlooker.

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Gonaz Fathi, Untitled 26, 2014.
Acrylic, pen and varnish on canvas, 146 x 128 cm.

Gonaz Fathi, Untitled 31, 2014.
Acrylic, pen and varnish on canvas, 146 x 128 cm.
Golnaz Fathi
DANCE ME TO THE END OF NIGHT
8 May – 28 June 2014

October Gallery, London presents Dance Me to the End of Night by Golnaz Fathi comprising large scale canvases, works on paper and video. Dance Me to the End of Night will mark her second solo exhibition at October Gallery.

Born in Tehran in 1972, Golnaz Fathi is an influential member of an exciting group of contemporary artists to surface in Iran over the last several years. While studying Graphic Design at Azad University in Tehran, Fathi, always fascinated by the expressive potential of traditional Persian calligraphic forms, immersed herself in a sustained six-year study of traditional calligraphy. She then became one of only a tiny handful of women trained to the highest level within that discipline.

Despite this Fathi felt the need to expand her practice; she substituted pen and ink for qalam to develop an idiom of her own with large, bold abstractions. Shifting her focus towards the form of her script, Fathi rejected the rules she had previously learned, and began to combine painting with traditional calligraphic practices to create densely textured compositions devoid of referential meaning. With the freedom of allowing her mind to form her letters, Fathi was able to explore in-depth her artistic expression. These composites of urgent spontaneous glyphs and deep brush strokes become polysemic with their unique adaption of language.

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October Gallery Events

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October Gallery Recommends

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October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367 Fax: + 44 (0)20 7405 1851