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Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 35 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.
image: El Anatsui, Focus (detail), 2015.
Aluminium and copper wire, 284 x 304 cm.

image: Romuald Hazoumè, Chouchou, 2013. Plastic, nylon and metal, 56 x 35 x 25 cm.

October Gallery artists El Anatsui
and Rachid Koraïchi are currently exhibiting at the
Marrakech Biennale 6: Not New Now.

image: El Anatsui, Kindred Viewpoints, 2016. Aluminium and copper wire, 1680 x 2140 cm.
photo © Jens Martin


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Current Exhibition

Sokari Douglas Camp, Blind Love and Grace, 2016.
Mild steel, acrylic paint, aluminium gold and copper leaf, 
278 x 203 x 135 cm.
Photo: Jonathan Greet
Sokari Douglas Camp, Blind Love and Grace, 2016.
Mild steel, acrylic paint, aluminium gold and copper leaf,
278 x 203 x 135 cm.

Photo: Jonathan Greet
Sokari Douglas Camp
PRIMAVERA
7 April - 14 May 2016

Internationally renowned sculptor, Sokari Douglas Camp, creates her works primarily in steel. Her often large-scale sculptures make frequent reference to her Nigerian roots, at the same time, encompassing contemporary international issues. Douglas Camp studied fine art at the Central School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art. She has represented Britain and Nigeria in a number of exhibitions and has had more than 40 solo shows worldwide. Her work is in the permanent collections of the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo and the British Museum, London.

Primavera brings together major new sculptures which focus on the reinterpretation of familiar figures from the European classical tradition. The large work Europe supported by Africa and America, recreates and adapts an 18th century engraving by William Blake. This intricate composition features three female figures touching and supporting each other, dressed in contemporary clothing remnant of high fashion in Nigeria. The central figure holds a long wreath which grows into a fuel hose – the whole composition offers a wry commentary on social issues and their ramifications for wider environmental concerns. Other works reconfigure detailed scenes adapted from well-known Botticelli paintings, in which the instantly recognisable figures metamorphose into more modern icons of contemporary culture and society. Saro-Wiwa, a campaign to clean up the Niger Delta, eliciting nationwide support after having been held by local government officials.

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Forthcoming Exhibition

Govinda Sah 'Azad', Matter/Nothing/Matter, 2015.
Mixed media on canvas, 160 x 180 cm.
Govinda Sah ‘Azad’
BOUNDLESS POSSIBILITIES
19 May – 25 June 2016

October Gallery, London, presents Boundless Possibilities a solo exhibition by Govinda Sah 'Azad’, comprised of mixed media works on canvas.  

This summer’s exhibition marksSah’s third showing at October Gallery. Born in Nepal, where he studied Fine Arts at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, before completing his MFA at Wimbledon College of Arts, in 2008, Sah now lives and works in London.

Effortlessly balancing traditional eastern metaphysical insights about the nature of reality with visual realisations that are in accord with the latest formulations of contemporary western science, Govinda Sah imagines a cosmos of boundless possibilities. A painter of tempestuous skies and cosmic explosions, Sah is drawn towards the unknown, intuitively shaping a response to the question: How was the universe created? Sah cannot conceive a universe without logic and purpose and yet his impulse is to ‘seek the sacred’.

Pushing boundaries in his new work, Sah physically engages with the jute and wooden stretchers of his canvases, creating deep openings, minute holes and shaped frames. Whilst still retaining his intricate painterly skills, carefully textured layers of paint are combined with more three-dimensional objects such as beads and hair to bring the evolving cosmos out of the flat plane. Sah also incorporates the use of fire, drawing from the very inspiration of his works; light. Just as light consumes darkness, he allows a flame to take over his canvases, its smoke forming natural peaks that evoke turbulent skies. Glimpses of precise graphical lines are visible through the intricate layers as the artist’s fascination with space aesthetically engages both science and mathematics.  


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Most Recent Exhibitions

El Anatsui, Warrior, 2015. Aluminium and copper wire, 
350 x 330 cm. photo: Jonathan Greet
El Anatsui, Warrior, 2015. Aluminium and copper wire,
350 x 330 cm. photo: Jonathan Greet
El Anatsui, Breaking News, 2015. Aluminium and copper wire, 276 x 260 cm. photo: Jonathan Greet
El Anatsui
NEW WORKS
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 artists of our time. 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.

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.


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Gerald Wilde, The Clown.
Gerald Wilde:
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.


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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