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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.

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




El Anatsui Limited edition signed Masters of the Transvangarde poster. Archival pigment print on paper,
59.4 x 42cm. Edition of 25, available for purchase from our bookstore

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Very limited edition Rachid Koraïchi monograph available for purchase from our bookstore

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Current Exhibition



Aubrey Williams
Shostakovich 10th Symphony Opus 93, 1981. 163 x 245cm

Romuald Hazoumè, Ma Poule, 2013.
Found objects, 46 x 42 x 12 cm.
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;

Aubrey Williams, Gerald Wilde, Kenji Yoshida, Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, El Anatsui, Rachid Koraïchi, Romuald Hazoumè and Laila Shawa.

In 1979, coining the word, Transvangarde, the gallery aimed to explore the capacity of art to transcend boundaries and to exhibit the work of artists who were implementing new creative strategies across the globe.


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Forthcoming Exhibition

Gonaz Fathi, Untitled 26, 2014.
Acrylic, pen and varnish on canvas, 146 x 128 cm.

Gonaz Fathi, Untitled 31, 2014.
Acrylic, pen and varnish on canvas, 146 x 128 cm.
Golnaz Fathi
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.

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Most Recent Exhibitions



Tian Wei, Sex, 2010. Acrylic on canvas, 177 x 262 cm.
Photo: Gu Xiaobo

Tian Wei, Zen, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 262 x 177 cm.
Photo: Yang Wei

TIAN WEI
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.


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Jukhee Kwon, Sense and Nonsense in Art, 2013.
Shredded book, 15 x 11 x 10 cm.
Photo. Cosimo Trimboli.


Jukhee Kwon, Libro Libero (detail), 2013.
Paper (one book) and paper scrolls, 140 x 100 cm.


JUKHEE KWON
5 December 2013 – 1 February 2014

October Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Jukhee Kwon. This will be her first solo exhibition at October Gallery, London.

Juhkee Kwon (South Korea) studied Fine Art at Chung-Ang University, Seoul, before obtaining an MA from Camberwell College of Arts, London. She has exhibited internationally, and her work is included in various collections. She now lives and works in Italy.

Kwon creates captivating works, quite literally, from the printed page. Using abandoned and disused books, she shreds the pages by hand to create magnificent ‘book sculptures’. These effervescent sculptures, brimming with energy, flow from their spines in the form of cascading waterfalls. Each book, thus deconstructed, attains to a new existence through this transformational creative process. Much of her work plays with ideas of destruction and re-creation.

Kwon’s cutting and slicing techniques become a performance with each fragile page demanding attention. Although unseen by the viewer, her intricate actions during this process are projected through the complexity of the finished piece. Kwon’s imagination is realised through the adaptable structure of the book which transcends its original purpose. The act of the book’s expansion alludes to a feeling of freedom and movement, mimicking in a sense, her migratory experience. As she cuts each strand, the process becomes a means to travel the tracks of half-held memories and to retrace those first conscious steps towards the creation of a new life.

This exhibition focuses primarily on Kwon’s latest creations. Not only is the book an object brought back to life, Kwon transforms it to become a life derivative of its past and its narrative - the idea of a book retaining an essence of its previous owner, each emanating an individual past.

As Kwon notes, “For me, each book has individual personality and it has narrative and history like a human being.”

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Govinda Sah 'Azad', Salvation, 2011.
Oil and acrylic on canvas, 148 x 148 cm.

Govinda Sah 'Azad', Untitled Red - II, 2013.
Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm.



Govinda Sah ‘Azad’:
LIGHTNESS OF BEING
31 October – 30 November 2013

October Gallery, London, presents Lightness of Being, a solo exhibition by Govinda Sah 'Azad’, comprising both small and larger-scale paintings on canvas.

Following his recent solo show in New York, The Universe Within (2013), this Autumn’s exhibition marksSah’s second 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.

What marks Govinda Sah’s art as exceptional is not simply his dedicated pursuit of the painter’s craft, nor the quality of the technical skills he masters to create these canvases, but rather the effortless manner in which he balances traditional eastern metaphysical insights about the nature of reality with visual realisations that are in accord with the latest formulations of contemporary western science. His first showing, Transcriptions (2011), revealed the extraordinary breadth of Sah’s perspective, detailing an astonishing range of visionary imagery: imaginary vistas of intergalactic fields sown with primal matter, vivid cosmogonic explorations, super-novae explosions brilliantly illuminated in chiaroscuro and the birth of stars, coalescing from clouds of interstellar dust.



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October Gallery Events

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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