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Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 40 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.


William S. Burroughs

William Seward Burroughs II was born 5 February 1914 in St. Louis, Missouri. Burroughs was an innovative writer and artist in many media. A primary figure of the Beat Generation, Burroughs went on to deeply influence a wide swathe of culture and thought with dozens of books and hundreds of paintings, essays, spoken word performances and multi-media collaborations.

A Harvard graduate, Burroughs followed his fascinations through the underworlds and subcultures of international cities including Tangiers, Paris, New York, London, Chicago, New Orleans, Vienna, Dubrovnik, Budapest, Athens, and Mexico City. Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac were key figures in his life and early literary career. Teaching him to ‘see’ paintings, Brion Gysin was fundamental to Burroughs’ artistic development and shared with him such techniques as the ‘cut-up’, calligraphy, and painting with an engraved wallpaper roller. Other important collaborators include Keith Haring, Robert Rauschenberg, George Condo, Philip Taaffe, Antony Balch, Ian Sommerville, Robert Wilson, Tom Waits, and Kurt Cobain.

In 1981, Burroughs moved his home to Lawrence, Kansas, where he began to make shotgun art. He went on to develop a wide range of painting techniques. From 1982 until his late years, he prolifically created visual art. Burroughs’ work has since been featured in over fifty international galleries and museums including Royal Academy of the Arts, Centre Pompidou, Guggenheim Museum, New Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art. On 2 August 1997, Burroughs passed away at home at the age of 83.


All out of time and into space
Can you all hear me?

The Assassin's Gun II


The Furnace

The Prison Scribe

Blue Eyed Lemur

The Melting Red Disease

Plagues of Mad II

Disintegrating Space Craft 1

The Last Supper

Black Christmas Tree

Copper Termites

Brion Gysin in Paris

William Burroughs Biography

born on February 5, 1914, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Selcted Solo Exhibitions
2012  All out of time and into space, October Gallery, London, UK
  The Name Is Burroughs – Expanded Media, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM), Karlsruhe, Germany
  Cut-ups Cut-ins Cut-outs. Die Kunst des William S. Burroughs, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
 2009  The Sky Is Thin As Paper Here, Stellan Holm Gallery, New York, USA
  Naked Leftovers, DotDotDot Artspace, Lawrence, USA
    50th Anniversary Celebration of William S. Burroughs’ The Naked Lunch, Th!nkart Salon, Chicago, USA
    William S. Burroughs, London Photographs, Maggs Bros, London, UK
2008   Burroughs Live, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
    Rub Out the Word, Stellan Holm Gallery, New York, USA
    William S. Burroughs: Life File, Riflemaker, London, UK
2005   The Unseen Art of William S. Burroughs (three parts: Dead Aim, Pistol Poem and Rifle Range), Riflemaker, London, UK
2004   The Seven Deadly Sins, Raab Galerie, Berlin, Germany
1999   Galerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel, Switzerland
1996   William Burroughs, Ports of Entry, Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles;  Spencer Museum, Lawrence, USA
    Concrete and Buckshot. William S. Burroughs Paintings 1987-1996, Track 16 Gallery and Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, USA
    Nineties Beat Paintings, David Levik Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
    Paintings, Webb Gallery, Waxahachie, Texas
1995   The Seven Deadly Sins, Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, Denmark
    Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, USA
1994   Photographs 1962-1972, Vintage Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Nagual Marks, Aktionsforum Praterinsel, Munich, Germany
    The Bourgeois Pig, Lawrence, USA
    Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, USA
1993   Center for Study and Exhibit of Drawings, Exquisite Corpse, New York
    Galeria Sephira, Madrid, Spain
    Galerie Porte-Avion, Marseille, France
    The Seven Deadly Sins, Gagosian Gallery, New York; The Writer’s Place, Kansas City, USA
1992   The Seven Deadly Sins, Earl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles; Nautilus Foundation, Lloyd; Hokin Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands; Earl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles; Mincher-Wilcox Gallery, San Francisco, USA; Artists en Mass, Lawrence, Kansas; October Gallery, London, UK; George Mulder Fine Arts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Galerie Kunst Parterre, Viersen, Germany
    Transit Gallery, Bergamo, Italy
    Casa Burroughs: shotgun, dipinti e altro, Atelier Marconi Gallery, Torino, Italy
1991   Galerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel, Switzerland
    Galerie K, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Vanguardia Galeria de Arte, Bilbao, Spain
1990   Galerie K, Paris, France
    Shotgun Paintings, works on wood & paper, The Seed Hall/Seibu Shibuya, Tokyo; Akarenga Hall/Seibu Shibuya, Seibu Sapporo, Sapporo, Japan
    Galerie Waschsalon, Frankfurt, Germany
    Earl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
    Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut, Tübingen, Germany
    Galeria Sephira, Madrid, Spain
1989   Gallerie OBORO and Atelier Roger Bellemare, Montreal, Canada
    Cold City Gallery, Toronto, Canada
    Galerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland
    Galeria EMI Valentim de Carvalho, Lisbon, Portugal
    Cleto Polcina Artemodernna, Rome, Italy
    Kellas Gallery, Lawrence, Kansas
    Elliot Smith Gallery, St. Louis, USA
1988   October Gallery, London, UK
    The Western Front Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
    Gallery Casa Sin Nombre, Santa Fe, USA
    Suzanne Biederberg Gallery, Amsterdam Art Fair, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1987   Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA
Selcted Group Exhibitions
2011   Arp, Beckmann, Munch, Kirchner, Warho ... Klassiker in Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany
  William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Th!nkart Salon, Chicago, USA
2009  The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
    Sonic Youth etc.: Sensational Fix, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; KIT Kunst im Tunnel, Düsseldorf, Germany
  Bukowski and Burroughs, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, USA
    Rip It Up And Start Again, Kunstverein München, München, Germany
2008   Cut-Outs and Cut-Ups, Hans Christian Andersen and William Seward Burroughs, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
    Traces du Sacré, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Haus der Kunst, München, Germany
    Oh Girl, It’s a Boy!, Kunstverein München, Germany
    The Writer’s Brush: Visual Art by Writers, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York; Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, USA
    White Flag Projects, St. Louis, USA
    Omaggio a William Burroughs, Le Case d’Arte, Mailand, Italy
2007   The Third Mind, Carte blanche à Ugo Rondinone, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
    You’ll Never Know, Hayward Gallery, London; Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston; Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea; The Lowry, Salford; The New Art Gallery, Walsall; Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle, UK.
2006   Vinyl. Records and Covers by Artists, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain
    Radical Software, CCA Wattis, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco
    You’ll Never Know, New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK
    Light and Shadow, Galerie von Bartha, Basel, Germany
2004   Collage, Bloomberg Space, London, UK
1997   Exhibition with George Condo, Pat Hearn Gallery, New York, USA
1996   The Gun: Icon of Twentieth Century Art, Ubu Gallery, New York, USA
    BANG – Gunshot Art, Paolo Baldacci Gallery, New York
    Beat Culture and the New America, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA
1995   Beat Culture and the New America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
1994   Two Guys With Guns Making Art (exhibition with Hunter S. Thompson), Floria Brown Gallery, Woody Creek, Colorado, USA
    Beat Generation Art, New York University, New York, USA
    The Ossuary, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, USA
1993   Et tous ils changent le Monde, 2ème Biennale d’Art Contemporain, Lyon, France
    Poetry and Painting, Porte Galerie Avion, Marseille, France
1992   Exhibition with Brion Gysin, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
    Exhibition with Dennis Hopper, Sena Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1991   Galerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel Art Fair, Switzerland
    Contemporary Art Fair, Milan, Italy
    Exhibition with Keith Haring, Murray Feldman Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
1990   Exhibition with Keith Haring, October Gallery, London, UK
    XLIV Exposizione Internazionale d’Arte, Venice, Italy
    Paper Cloud, Thick Pages, exhibition with Allen Ginsberg, Gallery Casa Sin Nombre, Santa Fe, USA
    Galeria EMI Valentim de Carvalho at ARCO Art Fair, Madrid, Spain
    Vanguardia Galeria de Arte, Bilbao, Spain
    Exhibition with Robert Wilson, XPO Galerie, Hamburg, Germany
1989   The Valley, Keith Haring and William Burroughs, George Mulder Fine Arts, New York, USA
    Exhibition with Walter Dahn, Galerie Paul Maenz Köln, Cologne, Germany
1988   Exhibition with Sam Gilliam, Paul Klein Gallery, Chicago, USA
    Exhibition with St. EOM, Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, USA
    Literary Vision, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA
1982   Exhibition at B2 Gallery, London, UK, supporting the Final Academy festival of readings and events celebrating William S. Burroughs and his work
Selcted Collections
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA
Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, USA
Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis, USA
Hallmark Collection, Kansas City, USA
Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, USA
British Museum, London, UK
Maison des ecrivans, Paris, France
Marseille Museum, Marseille, France
Kochi Museum of Art, Kochi, Japan
Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, USA
Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM), Karlsruhe, Germany Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367