Rachid Koraïchi &
2 February - 1 Apr 2017
October Gallery presents Transvangarde 2017, an exhibition of outstanding works by an international array of contemporary artists including, Tian Wei, Alexis Peskine, Govinda Sah ‘Azad’ and selected works by Brion Gysin and Kenji Yoshida amongst others. These artists, who have all migrated from one country to another, share their particular visions of the world by using their work to express their trans-cultural experiences.
6 April - 13 May 2017
October Gallery, London, is excited to announce the preview of a new body of print works by El Anatsui, Benchmarks, created in collaboration with Factum Arte, an extraordinary studio based in Madrid renowned for its synergy of past, present and future techniques. Theis the first presentation of this remarkable series.
Though globally-renowned for his iconic hangings of aluminium bottle-tops, Anatsui’s artistic practice has always been rooted in the discovery of new media. Having graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, the artist set about ‘forgetting everything (he) had been taught’ in the search for new modes of expression, and the materials needed to convey them. Following the imperative that an artist should work ‘with whatever his environment throws up’, Anatsui created a wide variety of novel sculptural forms with materials that range from tropical hardwoods to cassava graters, driftwood, obituary printing plates and aluminium bottle-tops. His interest is in the physical history of the materials themselves, the stories they contain and the journeys that bring them into his hands. It was just such a remarkable journey that first led the artist to work with bottle-tops when he happened upon several bags of them lying discarded by a local liquor shop and found inscribed within a hidden history of trade in West Africa. At the age of 73, and after a fifty-year career, crowned with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th Venice Biennale, Anatsui has found a new source of inspiration in the residual marks and traces of his own art practice and has poured all his energies into exploring these newfound possibilities.
Most Recent Exhibitions
1 December 2016 – 28 January 2017
October Gallery, London is excited to announce reMembering, an exhibition of new works by Sylvie Franquet. The artist’s first solo presentation will run from 1st December to 28th January.
Sylvie Franquet is a discovery. Born in Belgium, she read Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ghent and Cairo universities. Much of her life has been spent immersed in the Mediterranean world, reading, travelling widely throughout the region, and writing extensively on Middle Eastern culture. Out of this has come the unique artistic voice in reMembering, which layers word and image, ancient myth and everyday life, in textile, tapestries, collage and embroidered cloth dolls.
Franquet reworks found tapestries, showing a preference for those based on canonical works of art. She overlays these with further images and with found words from poets and thinkers, and text messages from friends. She cites Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone da Pensiere, with its dense collation of thoughts, ephemera and philosophies, as influencing her approach. The laborious process of unpicking, repairing and reworking can take months, resulting in a metamorphosis achieved by the magic power of the needle.
Franquet’s work has been featured in Vogue and Elle, and her art was included in the critically-acclaimed exhibition More Material, curated by Duro Olowu at Salon 94 in New York. She also participated in the 2015 Féminin Pluriel exhibition at Fondation Dar Bellarj in Marrakech. The October Gallery exhibition will be her first major presentation, and the first public showing of the Poupées, spirit birds and The Wayward Sisters.
ALL IN THE SAME BOAT
7 October – 26 November 2016
Internationally acclaimed artist Romuald Hazoumé (b. 1962) will present an ambitious new exhibition on the theme of immigration at October Gallery during October and November 2016. This will be the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the London based gallery and will consist of three major installations, paintings, photography and masks. Hazoumè’s works are humorous and wryly political. His assemblages are specifically tied to his vision of society and his take on global problems. Hazoumè’s timely exhibition, which will feature a five-metre long crashed boat and a dice made of thousands of found flip-flops, addresses the movement of people across the world and reflects upon the dramatic narratives created by migrants forced by war or famine from their home country.
Romuald Hazoumè is a multi-faceted artist: a painter, sculptor, photographer and filmmaker, his powerful creations mark him as one of the most innovative and exciting personalities to emerge from Africa. Hazoumè’s work first came to prominence in the U.K. with the inclusion of his ‘masks’ in the Saatchi Gallery’s ‘Out of Africa’ show, in 1992. In the past twenty years his work has been widely shown throughout Europe, the United States and Asia, including the British Museum, the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and recently this year, in two different sites at Gagosian, Paris.
In 2007, Romuald Hazoumè was awarded the Arnold-Bode-Prize at documenta 12.
AND JAMES BARNOR
8 – 30 September 2016
This collaborative exhibition presents work by pioneering Ghanaian photographer James Barnor, and award winning Italian photographer Daniele Tamagni. Featuring Barnor’s analogue photographs of London’s growing multicultural metropolis during the ‘swinging 60s’ and Ghana in the 50s, along with new works by Tamagni of striking fashion sub cultures throughout contemporary Africa. This exhibition follows the launch of the publications: ‘Ever Young’, by James Barnor and ‘Fashion Tribes’, by Daniele Tamagni.
Daniele Tamagni, an Italian photographer, trained as an art historian before travelling worldwide to document colourful fashion subcultures. Shooting style in locations outside of the presumed fashion contexts such Brazzaville, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Dakar, Tamagni seeks and finds individualistic identity. In 2007 he won the Canon Young Photographer Award with a project about the Congolese dandys, Sapeurs of Brazzaville and in 2010 won the ICP, Infinity Award; fashion category. Tamagni’s subjects are reflective of James Barnor’s models of the 60s with fashion aiding their nonchalant confidence.
James Barnor, born in Accra, Ghana in 1929, began, like many of his contemporaries on the continent, by setting up a studio which was visited by general public as well as dignitaries. Working for the Daily Graphic, as their first photojournalist, and Drum magazine, the influential anti-apartheid journal for lifestyle and politics, developed his career rapidly. After moving to the UK in 1959, he continued to work on commissions for Drum, in London, shooting multinational models for its covers. Barnor’s portraits depict the self-assurance and individualistic fashion trends that dominated.
Style dictated the identity of Londoners during the sixties but continues to do so in contemporary society. Tamagni shines light on the renaissance happening in developing economies and the power of fashion to push economic and cultural boundaries today.
EDDY KAMUANGA ILUNGA
First UK solo show
30 June – 30 July 2016
Selected works available to view by appointment during August
October Gallery, London, is pleased to announce its forthcoming exhibition of new works by Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga. This will be the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery, and his first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom. A private view will be held on 29th June.
Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga is one of the most exciting young artists working in Africa today. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1991, he trained at the Kinshasa Academy of Arts and has founded the dynamic Congolese art collective ‘M’Pongo’, representative of the creative vibrancy to be found in modern Kinshasa.
In his present series ‘Mangbetu’, Kamuanga Ilunga has explored the predicament of the Mangbetu people, an ethnic group of warrior extraction in the DRC, whose culture is being threatened by a desire to modernise. The DRC is the world’s largest exporter of coltan, a raw material used in computer chips and mobile phones, and Kamuanga Ilunga pays equal reference to both this modern industry and the traditional culture of the Mangbetu, bringing their vibrant fabrics, symbolic objects and daily rituals into confrontation with the digital imagery of the present day. His paintings possess a monumental quality that is both heroic and elegiac, with a striking and sophisticated interplay of intensity and emptiness, two and three dimensions, and Congolese pattern painted as European drapery.
Kamuanga Ilunga’s work has been exhibited across Africa, notably at Dak’Art; Biennale OFF Senegal in 2014, and made its London debut at the Saatchi Gallery’s Panagaea II in 2015. The enormous excitement around the 24-year-old artist at London’s 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in 2015 and at New York’s Armory Show in 2016 was compounded by an article in the FT’s How to Spend It, which employed his work ‘Lost’ to represent The Best of New York Armory 2016.
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