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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.

Exhibitions

Current Exhibition

Kenji Yoshida, La Vie,1998.
Oils and metals on canvas, 46 x 38 cm.


Brion Gysin, Untitled. Ink on paper, 108 x 102 cm.
DREAM NO SMALL DREAM
Celebrating 40 Years of the Transvangarde
11 April - 25 May 2019

October Gallery celebrates the anniversary of 40 years of energetic activity in London with an exhibition of works by some of the Gallery’s major artists, including newly commissioned works. A special programme of events will run alongside the exhibition to mark the Gallery’s rich history.

Located in a 3-storey Victorian school building the Gallery opened, in 1979, with an exhibition of Gerald Wilde. From the beginning the Gallery’s aim was to discover a new visual sensibility: the Transvangarde, the cross-cultural avant-garde, exhibiting artists from around the planet.

The exhibition will include works by El Anatsui, William S. Burroughs, Paul Friedlander, Brion Gysin, Jukhee Kwon, Romuald Hazoumè, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, LR Vandy, Gerald Wilde, Aubrey Williams and Kenji Yoshida.

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Forthcoming Exhibition

LR Vandy, Sharp, 2016.
Fibreglass with steel pins, 90 x 40 x 28 cm.
LR VANDY
HIDDEN

30 May - 29 Jun 2019

Following a sell-out debut at the 2018 edition of 1-54 London, LR Vandy’s highly anticipated exhibition features new works by the artist.

In the current Hull series, Vandy transforms model boat hulls into ‘masks’, animating them with various materials, including fishing floats, porcupine quills and acupuncture needles.
The hulls allude to the transportation of migrants as commodities. As masks they present a transformation of identity, drawing upon the tradition of talismans, charms and amulets. 

Her new work Railway also closely examines transport systems and their hidden human costs.  Vandy threads old model railway tracks across burnt wood of different depths, contained by brass borders.

Vandy continues to address the tension of opposing forms in her video work, ‘Landscapes’, in which two substances interact and mix in an extraordinary choreographic dance, forming a constantly shifting and changing visceral landscape.

The exhibition will include the sculpture series These Women, consisting of twenty-one individual sculptures to be cast in bronze or Jesmonite each one a different variation of bold geometric elements.

A large Jesmonite sculpture from the series Superhero Cog-Woman, specially made for the exhibition will be on display in October Gallery’s courtyard.

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Most Recent Exhibitions

Change in Fortune, 2018.
Aluminium and copper, 294 x 290 cm.
Untitled (from the Circular Series), ed. 3/3, 2016.
Ink on Somerset 300gsm paper, with chine collé silver foil,
84.3 x 84.3 cm.
Rehearsal, 2015.
Aluminium and copper, 406 x 465 cm.
EL ANATSUI
Material Wonder
28 Feburary - 6 April 2019

El Anatsui: Material Wonder marks the 40th anniversary of October Gallery and celebrates the vision and creative force of El Anatsui. The exhibition also coincides with the largest retrospective of the artist’s work to date, El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, at Haus der Kunst, Munich. Moreover, in February 2019, TSIATSIA – searching for connection was installed in the atrium of Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town. When this immense work first covered the façade of the Royal Academy, in 2013, the artist won the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award.

El Anatsui is undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of the present time. Throughout his long career, he has focused his many interests to examine a wide range of subjects and explored an extraordinary array of media from cement, ceramics and tropical hardwoods in his early years, to corrugated iron, cassava graters, milk-tin lids and bottle-tops in his later installations. Today, he is best known for his mesmerising works composed of many thousands of aluminium bottle-tops laboriously sewn together.

The metal wall sculptures in the exhibition are accompanied by a series of prints made in collaboration with Factum Arte, Madrid. El Anatsui has always been fascinated by the physical history of the materials he employs and the journeys they undergo. The basic materials for his ‘fabrics’ are made by a team of assistants, who cut and pierce the aluminium strips on tables and smaller wooden ‘flats.’ After years of repetitive pricking and piercing, these wooden worktops present a scored landscape of textured relief. Using Factum Arte’s cutting-edge, 3-D scanning and plate-making technologies, these scarred surfaces are translated into printing plates. Given Factum Arte’s expertise in traditional printmaking, the resulting prints encapsulate the hidden histories of the making of the aluminium works. In this way, the fabrication process itself is ‘recycled’ into a major new series of prints.

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Huang Xu, Fragment No.3, 2007.
C-type print, 182 x 122 cm
Govinda Sah, Salvation, 2011.
Oil and acrylic on canvas, 148 x 148 cm.
Kenji Yoshida, La Vie , 1994.
Metals and oil on canvas, 51 x 61 cm.
PRESENT MOMENT
Jukhee Kwon, Tian Wei, Huang Xu,
Govinda Sah 'Azad', Kenji Yoshida and
Xu Zhongmin
24 January - 23 February 2019

Present Moment brings together the works of selected artists from Asia including; Jukhee Kwon, Tian Wei, Huang Xu, Govinda Sah ‘Azad’, Kenji Yoshida and Xu Zhongmin. Present Moment brings together artists whose work creates a momentary stillness. Each piece captures a meditative moment of serene lightness.

Present Moment will debut striking new works by South Korean artist Jukhee Kwon. The artist creates works from the printed page. Using abandoned and disused books, she cuts and manipulates pages by hand to create magnificent sculptures.

Tian Wei’s large scale colourful paintings, both theoretically and formally, construct a bridge between things that appear as dyadic opposites, binary poles or complementary pairs through his inclusion of text.

Huang Xu, from China, focuses on a singular object, carefully staged to capture its ethereal beauty as opposed to its meaning within contemporary culture. In his Fragments series he creates large-scale C-prints that explore the fragile nature of the contemporary global economy.

Through painting, Nepalese artist Govinda Sah ‘Azad’ effortlessly 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, Sah imagines a cosmos of boundless possibilities.

Kenji Yoshida’s monumental works consist of ethereal gold, silver and precious metals on canvas which unite a restrained tradition of Japanese appliqué work with that of an abstract modernist aesthetic.

In the exhibited works Chinese artist Xu Zhongmin, uses the traditional technique of wood-block printing with delicately incised lines chiselled in to 'pear wood' blocks. The lines bring to life a series of towering city-scapes, stylised and distorted, but stamped with a range of individual atmospheres passing from bustling movement to quiet serenity

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Tian Wei, Light, 2017.
Iridescent acrylic on canvas, 196 x 177 cm..

Tian Wei, Gold, 2017.
Iridescent acrylic on canvas, 174 x 220 cm.
TIAN WEI
1 November 2018 - 19 January 2019

Tian Wei was born in Xi’an, the first imperial capital of China. Tian Wei left China for Hawaii, in 1986 and in 1990, he completed his MFA in Hawaii.

 Tian Wei’s work constructs a bridge between things that appear as dyadic opposites or binary poles. This perspective of Yin and Yang is 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. Tian Wei features English words such as ‘Sexy’,‘Light’ and ‘Soul’ in his work, reflecting the artist’s experience of living in both Eastern and Western spheres.

Tian Wei has been the recipient of many prizes. His work has been exhibited both in solo and group shows around the world at institutions such as the Armory Center for the Arts, California; the Guangdong Museum of Art, Beijing and MOCA Shanghai.

Last year, Tian Wei was announced as Artist-in-Residence for the Getty Research Institute 2017 – 2018 residency.

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

Aubrey Williams, Carib Ritual IV
Acrylic on canvas, 1973. 103 x 120 cm.
AUBREY WILLIAMS
13 September - 27 October 2018
October Gallery presents an exhibition of works by Aubrey Williams, including works previously unseen.

Born in Guyana, in 1926, Aubrey Williams’ life and art cannot be defined to one location. This new exhibition at October Gallery will explore how Williams’ oeuvre not only crosses borders between abstract and figurative modes but also between physical and cultural geographies. Exhibiting Williams’ work in the 21st century awakens a new assessment of British art history and challenges the canon. During his lifetime, the British establishment seemingly never allowed artists, including Williams, to move beyond the label of a Caribbean artist. Today, Williams’ work still resists classification. Williams’ Modernist oeuvre is being reborn into a world now ready for his art.

Arriving in London in 1952, Williams enrolled to study at St Martin’s School of Art. Williams became aware of American Abstract Impressionism following two MOMA exhibitions at the Tate, in 1956 and in 1959. Works by artists such as Pollock, Gorky and Rothko excited Williams. Their explorations of technique, colour and scale were all aspects that he absorbed into his own richly allusive abstractions.

Williams died in London in 1990. In 1993, the Tate Britain acquired Shostakovich Symphony No 3 Opus 20 (1981) and Olmec-Maya, Now and Coming Time (1985).

As well as the Tate’s permanent collection, works by Williams are in the collections of the National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica; National Collection of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; St Catherine’s College, Oxford, UK; University of Warwick, Coventry, UK and the Arts Council of Great Britain, UK.

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October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367