REALM OF THE SUN
8 October – 21 November 2015
October Gallery, London, will present an exhibition by Aubrey Williams, introducing works previously unseen.
Aubrey Williams' distinctive contribution to 20th century British art as a master of painterly abstraction is increasingly recognized; a contemporary of Alan Davie and Peter Lanyon, Williams’ work invites productive comparison but has yet to receive comparable attention.
Born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1926, Williams’ early training as an agronomist took him to the north-west rainforest where he lived for two years among the indigenous Warrau people. This proved to be a formative period of his life in which he, as he later said, 'started to understand what art really is.'
FROM THE ABYSS
27 November 2015 - 23 January 2016
October Gallery presents From the Abyss, an exhibition of Gerald Wilde’s paintings, comprising early wartime works of the 1940’s through to pieces collected from his final years in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
In 1979, October Gallery first opened its doors with an exhibition of Wilde’s work, and has since remained dedicated to bringing this major British artist of the 20th Century to the attention of a wider audience, in the firm belief that he has yet to achieve the full recognition he deserves. Taught by painter, Graham Sutherland and sculptor, Henry Moore, Wilde’s work was widely admired and respected by fellow artists Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach and praised by critics such as John Berger, David Sylvester and William Feaver.
From the intensity of his early work, through to the liberation found in his "Pompeii" series and the more colourful paintings of his later years - his non-figurative enquiries into the workings of the mind - Wilde confronts us on both the abstract level and the level of symbols and dreams. If the tempestuous use of impasto in his early work draws us into the conflict-ridden spaces of his chaotic inner world, then he later balances us on the edge of that abyss, arm-in-arm with clowns, tightrope dancers and spacemen, teetering in eccentric orbits of their own creation. Following Wilde’s startling trajectory, we witness his journey from a place of nervous unease and angst to a calmer place of reconciliation and rest. Wilde’s ‘clowns’ cast no shadows – illuminated, as they are, by an infinity of brilliant stars, as delicately they tumble, head over heels, through the inky distances of outer space.
Most Recent Exhibitions
2 July – 1August 2015
8th September – 3rd October 2015
October Gallery, London is pleased to present Unseen Collaborator, a solo exhibition of works by Brion Gysin. The exhibition will feature previously unseen drawings, paintings, photography and a film about the complex artist. Neo-calligrapher, master of line, multimedia revolutionary and cultural historian, Gysin’s experiences in New York, Tangier, Paris and London influenced his seminal artistic productions. William Burroughs called Gysin, ‘the only man I truly respect’.
14 May – Now extended to 27 June
October Gallery will present the first solo show in London of Wang Huangsheng (b.1956, China), whose work is held in many international collections such as the V & A, London, Uffizi Gallery, Florence and the National Art Museum of China, Beijing. Wang Huangsheng, in addition to being a prominent artist, is also one of the most influential figures in the art world of China and the most important supporter of Chinese avant-garde art. He is currently the Director of the CAFA Museum in Beijing, a highly significant art space and former Director of the Guangdong Museum of Art.
As ink painting gains recognition in the west- with the recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China and by the recognition of its influence on western artists from Robert Motherwell to Brice Marden - October Gallery will present the ink paintings of an artist whose works are alert to tradition yet at the same time resolutely contemporary. The exhibition will focus on Wang Huangsheng’s most recent works.
2 April - 9 May 2015
October Gallery will present an exhibition of works by the late Kenji Yoshida (1924 - 2009).
12 February - 28 March 2015
El Anatsui’s sculptural experiments with media and form have challenged the definition of sculpture itself. In particular, his metal wall-hangings have received international acclaim. Throughout a distinguished forty-year career as both an artist and teacher, El Anatsui has addressed a wide range of social, political and historical concerns and embraced an equally diverse range of media and processes. In 2013, one of his largest metal wall-hangings to utilize his bottle-top technique, TSIATSIA – searching for connection, adorned the façade of Burlington House. Created to coincide with the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2013, this remarkable work won the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award.The exhibition will focus on a range of intricate metal sculptures.
William S. Burroughs
CAN YOU ALL HEAR ME?
Including works by Brion Gysin, Liliane Lijn, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Shezad Dawood & Cerith Wyn Evans
4 December 2014 – 7 Febraury 2015
As the final event celebrating the centenary of William S. Burroughs’s birth, October Gallery, London, presents an exhibition of his art, including rarely-displayed pieces. The exhibition opens 4th December, 2014 and continues until 7th February, 2015, and will highlight artists who have been profoundly influenced by Burroughs’ life, including Brion Gysin, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Liliane Lijn, Shezad Dawood and Cerith Wyn Evans.
Throughout all Burroughs work - art, novels, essays, film and sound experiments - Burroughs wove a passionate message: deconstruct control systems and think for yourself. His art is a personal exploration of intelligence. Artists working in all genres have heard his message, and references to Burroughs’ works are now deeply embedded in our culture, from painting to film to advertising to literature to journalism to music.
30 October to 29 November 2014
October Gallery, London, presents Interwoven Histories,an exhibition of compelling mixed-media works by artists from Africa. With remarkable new works by artists, Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, Nnenna Okore and Romuald Hazoumè, this exhibition will also introduce works by artist Adejoke Tugbiyele.
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.
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.
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.
35 YEARS OF TRANSVANGARDE
Contemporary art from around the planet
10 April – 3 May 2014
October Gallery, London, will celebrate its 35th anniversary this April, with an exhibition of work from some of the most outstanding artists from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, Europe and the Americas.
The first gallery in the United Kingdom to exhibit contemporary art from all around the world, October Gallery opened its doors thirty-five years ago declaring, 'Artists from Around the Planet: Intelligence, Intuition and Action'. Led by Director, Chili Hawes and Artistic Director, Elisabeth Lalouschek, the gallery has since played a pioneering role in the promotion and exhibition of some of the most innovative and exciting artists of our time, including;
6 February 2014 – 5 April 2014
October Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of new works by the Chinese artist, Tian Wei. This will be his premiere solo exhibition in the United Kingdom.
Both theoretically and formally, Tian Wei’s work constructs a bridge between things that appear as dyadic opposites, binary poles or complementary pairs. This perspective of Yin and Yang is deeply embedded in Chinese thinking, and the artist’s frequent reference to Classic texts such as the I Ching (The Book of Changes) and Tao Te Ching appear as quotations in minute script patterning the background upon which larger semi-abstract cursive shapes are drawn. On trying to read these lines as Chinese characters, however, anyone familiar with Chinese poetry, painting or philosophy is bound to be frustrated, since the conundrum of interpreting the meaning of the flowing shapes can only be resolved in English. The lines, in fact, spell out simple English nouns, adjectives and phrases such as ‘Myth’,‘Red’ and ‘Money Makes the World Go Round.’ These carefully chosen words give the viewer access to the artist’s lived experience of both Eastern and Western spheres. In one of these large-scale works, the word ‘Sex’ stands out as bright red gestural daubs, on a canvas of the same colour, its thick impasto brush strokes layering the surface with tiny shadows. Drawn with great freedom, the brush strokes are sharp yet sinuous and though enigmatic, the lettering is ultimately comprehensible to any viewer who reads English.