4 February - 2 April 2016
El Anatsui, recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th Venice Biennale, is one of the most exciting international contemporary artists of our time.
Throughout a distinguished forty-year career as both sculptor and teacher – he was Professor of Sculpture and Departmental Head at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka – El Anatsui has addressed a vast range of social, political and historical concerns, and embraced an equally diverse range of media and processes. His installations have provoked wide international attention, with institutions and audiences fascinated by these sumptuous, mesmerising works made from thousands of aluminium bottle tops. During the Venice Biennale, in 2007, he transformed the facade of the Palazzo Fortuny by draping it in a shimmering wall sculpture. In 2010, two major touring shows of his work opened on opposite sides of the world: El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You About Africa at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada (organised by the Museum for African Art, New York) and A Fateful Journey: Africa in the Works of El Anatsui at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. As part of the 2012 Paris Triennale, he transformed the entire facade of Le Palais Galleria, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris with his striking work, Broken Bridge. In 2013, the Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA, exhibited the touring solo exhibition, Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, presented the artist with the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award for his work, TSIATSIA – searching for connection, 2013, which covered the entire facade of the RA building. In 2014, he was made an Honorary Royal Academician as well as elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
This exhibition will present a new body of work by the artist, that further explores the possibilities of the artist’s iconic bottle-top sculptures.
Most Recent Exhibitions
FROM THE ABYSS
27 November 2015 - 30 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.
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.'
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.