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Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 39 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.
   

Exhibitions

ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS ELECTS ARTIST El ANATSUI AS ONE OF THEIR NEW HONORARY ACADEMICIANS.


Internationally acclaimed artist, El Anatsui’s sculptural experiments with media and form have pushed the definition of sculpture itself. In particular, his instantly recognisable metal wall hangings continue to receive widespread recognition and interest. 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 has embraced an equally diverse range of media and processes. Using anything from chainsaws and welding torches to copper wire, he has shaped materials ranging from cassava graters and railway sleepers to driftwood, iron nails and most notably, liquor bottle-tops. In 2013, one of his largest wall-hangings, TSIATSIA – searching for connection, adorned the façade of Burlington House as part of the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition 2013; it also won the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award that year.

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El Anatsui wins the Prestigious Charles Wollaston Award for his work at the Royal Academy of Arts, 245th Summer Exhibition

October Gallery, London are delighted to announce that on Monday 3 June, the President of the Royal Academy of Arts, Christopher Le Brun, declared that the prestigious £25,000 Charles Wollaston Award had been won by El Anatsui for his work, TSIATSIA – searching for connection, 2013, a site based, courtyard installation for the Royal Academy’s 245th Summer Exhibition. Presented to the ‘most distinguished work’ in the exhibition, the Wollaston Award is one of the most significant art prizes awarded in the country.

TSIATSIA – searching for connection is the largest wall-hanging sculpture that international artist El Anatsui has ever made using his unique bottle top technique. Measuring 15.6m x 25m, TSIATSIA - searching for connection, is an intricate, shimmering, metallic ‘wall-hanging’ created from aluminium bottle-tops, printing plates and roofing sheets, amongst other materials. The work is hanging from the balustrade of Burlington House for the duration of the Summer Exhibition (10 June – 18 August).
 
El Anatsui said, “Receiving the Charles Wollaston Award for the most distinguished work in the Royal Academy of Arts, 2013 Summer Exhibition, is an unexpected honour. When I created TSIATSIA - searching for connection, it was in my view a metaphor reflecting an alternative response to examine connecting possibilities and extend the boundaries in art. In a sense, this award acknowledges TSIATSIA as representing a connecting link in the evolving narrative of memory and identity.

I am grateful that this celebrated exhibition, now in its 245th year, continues to provide a significant forum of communication to stimulate the relationship between artist and audience, with awards such as The Charles Wollaston serving as arbiter.”

The Judges for this year’s award were the artists Richard Wilson RA and Louise Wilson and the art critic and artist Matthew Collings, who were unanimous in their choice.

Matthew Collings said, “As judges we were all overwhelmed by El Anatsui's work, which we considered a miracle of transformation."  

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CELEBRATED ARTIST, EL ANATSUI, TRANSFORMS FAÇADE OF ROYAL ACADEMY’S BURLINGTON HOUSE


To coincide with the 245th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, the celebrated artist El Anatsui has adorned the façade of Burlington House with one of the largest wall-hanging sculptures he has ever created. The sculpture will be unveiled on Monday 20 May.

Throughout his career El Anatsui has worked with many different media, including wood, paint, clay, metal and found materials, and has garnered much international acclaim for a range of spectacular site-based installations. This large-scale bespoke piece, created for the Royal Academy, measures 15m x 23m and is entitled TSIATSIA - searching for connection. It will hang from the balustrade of Burlington House for the duration of the Summer Exhibition from 10 June – 18 August 2013. The sculpture will be an intricate, shimmering, metallic ‘wall-hanging’ created from aluminium bottle-tops, printing plates and roofing sheets, amongst other material.

For the Royal Academy’s sculpture, El Anatsui was inspired by the idea of a blank canvas that represents the limitless opportunities of what an artist can portray and what an artwork could become. The artist comments, “More than ten years after first developing this medium, I now realise that it’s something endless. Like a painter who spends his entire career using just one medium, I feel I could spend the rest of my career using only bottle-tops, because there’s an open-ended sense of freedom present in this medium. The amazing thing about working with these metallic ‘fabrics’ is that the poverty of the materials used, in no way precludes the telling of rich and wonderful stories.”

The Summer Exhibition continues to be the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show, providing a platform for both emerging and established artists to showcase their work to an international audience. The galleries will present over 1,000 exceptional artworks, many of which will be previously unseen by the public, comprising painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film. The funds raised from the Summer Exhibition support the Royal Academy Schools.

ABOUT EL ANATSUI

El Anatsui is an internationally acclaimed artist, whose sculptural experiments with media and form have pushed the definition of sculpture itself. In particular, his instantly recognisable metal wall-hangings, which continue to receive widespread recognition and interest.

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 wide range of social, political and historical concerns, and embraced an equally diverse range of media and processes. Using anything from chainsaws and welding torches to this intricate and meditative 'sewing' process, he has shaped materials ranging from cassava graters and railway sleepers to driftwood, iron nails and obituary notice printing plates. 

High profile installation pieces have included Fresh and Fading Memories (2007) that draped the ancient Palazzo Fortuny during the 52nd Venice Biennale and in 2010, Ozone Layer (2010),embellished the Grecian columns of Germany’s Old National Gallery in Berlin. His largest installation to date Broken Bridge, covered the frontal façade of the Musée Galliera during the Paris Triennale in 2012 and has currently been reinstalled as Broken Bridge II, between West 21st and West 22nd Streets along New York’s High Line. El Anatsui’s sculptures have also been collected by major international museums, such as the British Museum, London, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the de Young Museum, San Francisco, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, the Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, (MoMA), New York. El Anatsui is represented by October Gallery, London.

For further details see the Royal Academy's web page:
http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/summer/about-the-exhibition/sculpture-in-the-courtyard,1034,MA.html

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