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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.

ARTISTS

Owusu-Ankomah

Owusu-Ankomah was born in Sekondi, Ghana in 1956, a year before independence from British colonial rule. He studied at Ghanatta College of Art in Accra before moving in 1986 to Bremen in Germany where he now lives and works. His paintings depict a spiritual world, without light and shadow, occupied by people and symbols. The way in which his figures coexist with the symbols in his paintings has moved through several distinct phases which reflect Owusu-Ankomah’s own spiritual journey. His early work drew heavily on the ancient traditions of masquerade and rock painting in Africa; then his figures seemed to shed their masks and body painting to become boldly, unashamedly visible.

In his most recent works, painted mainly in black and white, the figures, though still bold, naked and powerful, are covered in complex symbols which, in a studied trompe l’oeil effect render them almost invisible against a fixed backdrop composed of similar symbols. The presence of an eye, a nose or an ear alerts us to the hidden form behind, sometimes delicately picked out with a thin red line of paint that reveals the entire figure. Owusu-Ankomah is profoundly influenced by the work of Michelangelo and also by the philosophy of his own Akan-speaking peoples of Ghana, a philosophy reflected in their adinkra symbols, each of which represents a particular concept or proverb. Owusu-Ankomah invests his figures with the intense energy of Michelangelo’s figures, and then paints over their bodies with the collective wisdom of the Akan people in the form of adinkra symbols. Yet he infuses this traditional lexicon of adinkra with Chinese calligraphy and other well-known logos, as well as with symbols of his own invention. October Gallery will exhibit a solo show of new work in 2014.

Artist’s Statement:
I’m an artist who paints for humankind and who just happens to come from Africa.

Exhibitions

Microcron Begins
Microcron – Kusum (Secret Signs – Hidden Meanings)
From Courage to Freedom
Angaza Afrika - African Art Now


Microcron Begins No.1

Microcron Begins No.9

Microcron Begins No.10

Microcron Begins No.11


Microcron Begins No.16

Microcron Begins No.17

Microcron Begins No.18
'Rising' Owusu-Ankomah
Microcron Begins No.19


Microcron Begins No.20

Microcron Begins No.21

Microcron Begins No.22
'Rising' Owusu-Ankomah
Microcron Begins No.23


Thinking the Microcron No.1

Thinking the Microcron No.3

Thinking the Microcron No.2

Microcron - Kusum No. 1


Microcron - Kusum No. 2

Microcron - Kusum No. 3

Microcron - Kusum No. 4

Microcron - Kusum No. 5


Movement No.24B

Microcron - Kusum No. 7

Microcron - Kusum No. 8

Microcron - Kusum No. 10


Movement No. 26 - Humility

Movement No. 25B

Movement No. 32

Movement No. 28


Afrika Charms

Movement No. 43
The Wrestle


Communicate

2 Communicate


On My Knees

Protector

Moon

Weib No. 1 (Wife No. 1)


Fearless Act

Couple

Männer (Men)

Männer (Men) No.2


March
     

Owusu-Ankomah Biography

Born in 1956, Sekondi, Ghana
Lives and works in Bremen, Germany

Selected Solo shows
2011   Microcron - Kusum: Secret Signs - Hidden Meanings, October Gallery, London, UK
    Owusu-Ankomah - Prelude to the Microcron, ARTCO Gallery, Herzogenrath, Germany
2008   Stepping Out, ARTCO Gallery, Herzogenrath, Germany
    Body & Soul, Nomad Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2006/7   Traces of the Future, Iwalewa-Haus, Bayreuth, Germany and Gallery Simoncini, Luxembourg
    Future Track, ARTCO Gallery, Herzogenrath, Germany, touring to European Kunsthof Vicht, Stolberg-Vicht, Germany; Skoto Gallery, New York, USA (2007); Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Trier, Germany (2007); Art Association Aalen, Aalen, Germany (2007)
    Owusu-Ankomah - Paintings, Kunstraum, Potsdam, Germany
2005   Crossing Over, Jörg Heitsch Gallery, Munich, Germany
    Heroes, Sages and Saints, Ghana National Museum, Accra
    Human Nature, Film Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
    Owusu-Ankomah, Walu Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
2003   Africa Festival, Galerie écart, Osnabrück, Germany
    Paintings, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    Artificio, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
    Unison, Jörg Heitsch Gallery, Munich, Germany
2002   Movements, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Movements, Kühn Gallery, Lilienthal, Germany
1999   Kronacher Art Association, Kronach, Germany
    Skoto Gallery, New York, USA
1998   Kusum III, The Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok, Poland
1997   Kusum II, Steinbrecher Gallery, Bremen, Germany
    Klappe - die zweite, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
    Root Signs, Jörg Heitsch Gallery, Munich, Germany
1996   Dance on the Volcano, Steinbrecher Gallery, Bremen, Germany
    Kühn Gallery, Lilienthal, Germany
1995   University St. Gallen (former Hochschule St. Gallen), St. Gallen, Switzerland
    Kühn Gallery, Berlin, Germany 
1994   Peter Herrmann Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
    Apex Gallery, Göttingen, Germany
    Art Association Salzgitter, Salzgitter Germany
1993   Savannah Gallery of Modern African Art, London, UK
    Galerie im Hinterhaus, Wiesbaden, Germany
1992   Wildeshausen Gallery, Wildeshausen, Germany
    La Trastienda del Arte, Madrid, Spain
1991   Kusum, Steinbrecher Gallery, Bremen, Germany
    Art Association Wiligrad, Schloss Wiligrad, Lübstorf, Germany
1989   From Sharpeville to Soweto, Übersee-Museum, Bremen, Germany
1988   Gallery of Forum Bomlitz, Bomlitz, Germany
    Carl Duisberg Society, Essen, Germany
    Roche Gallery, Bremen, Germany
1987   Villa Ichon, Bremen, Germany
    Grünspan Gallery, Ottersberg, Germany
    City Library, Bremen, Germany
1981   Art Centre, Accra, Ghana
1977   Art Centre, Accra, Ghana
1976   YMCA Hall, Accra, Ghana
 
Sellected Group Exhibitions
2011   Transvangarde Now, October Gallery, London, UK
    Art Dubai 2011, Dubai, UAE (October Gallery)
    Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa (October Gallery)
    Africa, Book and Art, Open Art Gallery, Borken, Germany
    Ancestral Space, Translated Identities, Mojo Gallery, Dubai, U.A.E.
2010   Art Dubai 2010, Dubai, UAE (October Gallery
    Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa (October Gallery, ARTCO Gallery)
    Fine Art, ARTCO Gallery, Herzogenrath, Germany
    Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
    Africa 2.0 - Is There a Contemporary African Art?, Influxcontemporary, Lisbon, Portugal
2009   Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
    ... aus Leidenschaft, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Unbounded: New Art for a New Century,The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey, USA
    Homecoming, Ghanaian expatriate artists’ exhibition, Artists Alliance Gallery, Accra, Ghana
    Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa (October Gallery, ARTCO Gallery)
    Art Multiple, Herzogenrath, Germany (ARTCO Gallery)
2008   Angaza Afrika - African Art Now, October Gallery, London, UK
    Input, National Museum, Luanda, Angola
    Lend Me Your Ears, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Dialogue, ARTCO Gallery, Herzogenrath, Germany
    Einen AUGEN-Blick, bitte!, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa (October Gallery)
    At Eye Level, City Gallery Viersen, Germany
2007   Inscribing Meaning: Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., and the Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
    From Courage to Freedom, October Gallery, London, UK
    Tapping Currents: Contemporary African Art and the Diaspora, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
    Have a Good Nose, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Africa Select, ARTCO Gallery, Herzogenrath, Germany
    Artists Alliance Gallery, Accra, Ghana
    The World Bank Collection, World Bank, Washington DC, USA
    In and Out of Africa, Museum Haus der Völker, Schwaz, Austria
    Art Cologne, 41st International Fair for Modern Art, Cologne, Germany (ARTCO Gallery)
2006   Body of Evidence (Selections from the Contemporary African Art Collection), National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA
    Allstars, Jörg Heitsch Gallery, Munich, Germany
    Dialogue of Positions, Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim, Germany
    Focus Africa, Kunsthaus Viernheim, Viernheim, Germany
    The Elephant, Kühn Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    7th Dak’Art, Dakar Biennale, Senegal
    Distant Relatives – Relative Distance, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
    Art Cologne, 40th International Fair for Modern Art, Germany (Jörg Heitsch Gallery)
    All our Tomorrows, Exhibition Space University Lüneburg, Germany
    Salon d’art Contemporain Africain de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
2005   Salon d’art Contemporain Africain de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
    Groß und Quer, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    Visualized Rhythms, Waschhaus, Potsdam, Germany
    Hand in Hand, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
2004   Africa Remix, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany, touring to: Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2005); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2005); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2006); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2006/07); Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg, South Africa (2007)
    Bocca della Verita, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Fifteen Years Peter Herrmann Gallery, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    Artiade, Olympics of Visual Art 2004, Tavros-Athens, Greece
    Africome, Stadthalle Oelsnitz, Oelsnitz, Germany
    To Be: Human Rights through Art, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
    The Africa to Come (L’Afrique á venire), Art Association Ostseebad Kühlungsborn, Kühlungsborn, Germany
2003   Journeys and Destinations, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA
    A Fiction of Authenticy: Contemporary Africa Abroad, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA (2006)
    Ghana Yesterday and Today, Musée Dapper, Paris, France
    Post Border Land, Stichting Beeldende Kunst (SBK), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    Espacios Mesticos II, International Contemporary Art Meeting, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
    Retrospective 2003, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    The Rest of the World, Alexander Ochs Galleries, Berlin, Germany
    Dialoge, Gegenwartskunst in Südbaden, Galerie im Alten Schloss, Wehr, Germany
    World Art Series VII, a collaboration between Klinger Gallery, Görlitz, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Berlin, and Holger Wendland of Edition Raute, Dresden, Germany
    Art Cologne, 37th International Fair for Modern Art, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Cologne, Germany
2002   African Night, Paul-Löbe-Haus, a Peter Herrmann Gallery exhibition at the German Parliament, Berlin, Germany
    Visual Art and Sculptures, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
2001   It Flies and Flies, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Artists of the Day, Flowers East Gallery, London, UK
2000   Art from the Homelands (Heimatkunst), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
    Ark (Arche), Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Overview, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    Paradise Zero, Eventa 5 Biennale, Uppsala, Sweden
    EXPO 2000, Hanover, Germany
    Transafricana, Bologna, Italy
    Three Way Conference, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Berlin, Germany
    In the Colours of Africa, Mission 2000, Lille, France
    The Insect, Kühn Gallery, Berlin, Germany
1999   Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
    From Scarab to New Beetle, Art Association Bad Salzdetfurth, Bodenburg, Germany
    Five Continents One City, International Salon of Painting, Museum of Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
1998   Body and Soul, Staatsgalerij Heerlen, the Netherlands
    The New Spirit of Africa (Der Neue Geist Afrikas), Art Association Landshut, Landshut, Germany
    Multiple Echo, Peter Herrmann Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
    Aids World, Le Monde du Sida, touring to: Geneva, Zug, Zurich, Bellinzona
1997   6th Biennial of Havana, Havana, Cuba
    Polarisation, Jörg Heitsch Gallery, Munich, Germany  
    Exhibition of the Fourth International Conference of Visual Arts, Vancouver, Canada
1996   2nd Dak’art, Biennale Dakar, Senegal
    Africana, Sala 1 Gallery, Rome, Italy
    Art Project African-European Inspiration, Pedakondji, Togo; Alsdorf, Germany
1995   The Right to Hope, Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg, South Africa, touring to: Cairo, Amman, Gaza, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
    Absolute Ghana, Accra Contemporary Art (ACA), Accra, Ghana
    An Inside Story: African Art of our Time, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, touring to: the Tokushima Modern Art Museum, Tokushima; Himeji City Museum of Art, Himeji;
    Koriyama City Museum of Art, Koriyama; Marugame Inokuma-Genichiro Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan.
1994   Around and Around, collaborative and touring exhibition: Achim Kubinski Gallery and Peter Herrmann Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany (1994); Espace Doual’Art, Douala, Cameroon (1995), Achim Kubinski Gallery, Berlin, Germany (1999), Peter Herrmann Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany (1999)
    Kunst im Landtag, Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz, Germany
1993   Art Multiple, Düsseldorf,Germany
1991   Bremen Art Show, BBK Bremen, Bremen, Germany
    Artists of Bremen, Roche Gallery, Bremen, Germany
1988   Exhibition Award for Visual Art Bremen, Weserburg, Bremen, Germany
1987   Paintings 87, El Patio, Bremen, Germany
    Museum of Modern Art, Bremen, Germany
1986   We Live Here, El Patio, Bremen, Germany
1985   Artists for Human Rights, Übersee-Museum, Bremen, Germany
1981   Group Show of Ghanaian Painters, Oakland, USA
Selected Collections
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, USA
MTN Art Institute Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C., USA
FirstRand Bank, Johannesburg, South Africa
Standard Chartered Bank, South Africa
Renaissance Capital, Moscow, Russia
Collection International Finance Corporation, World Bank, Washington, D.C., USA
Übersee-Museum, Bremen, Germany 
Espacio C de Arte Contemporáneo, Camargo, Spain
The Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Luanda, Angola
British Museum, London
UK Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, USA
   
October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367 Fax: + 44 (0)20 7405 1851