<strong>Gérard Quenum</strong>, <em>La bonne bergère (The Good Shepherdess)</em>, 2012.
Wood, metal, beads, rope and plastic doll, 168 x 43 x 43 cm.<strong>Gérard Quenum</strong>, <em>Mort au dictateur. Vive la dictature!
(Death to the Dictator. Long Live Dictatorship!)</em>, 2012.
Wood, helmets, metal pipe, antenna and plastic doll,
75 x 637 x 105 cm.<strong>Gérard Quenum</strong>, <em>Femmes Peul</em>, 2007. Wood, doll, wire, hardware, 203 x 37 x 16 cm.

GÉRARD QUENUM

Gérard Quenum.
Photo: © Jonathan Greet, 2012.
Gérard Quenum, Barbie en Afrique (Barbie in Africa), 2004. Wood, doll, wire and metal, 169 x 22 cm.
Private Collection.
Photo: © Jonathan Greet.


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 ‘Azad’ imagines a cosmos of boundless possibilities. From an early age, he was interested in drawing and sculpture. He left Nepal to live in India and from 1991-94, worked as a signboard and wall painter in Delhi. In 1995, he returned to Kathmandu and joined the Fine Art College to realise his dream of becoming a painter. During his studies, he participated in several group exhibitions, which resulted in a first solo exhibition in 1999. Professor and Campus Chief of the Fine Art College and prominent artist, Govinda Dongol, dubbed Govinda Sah, ‘Lion Heart’.

He joined the MA Fine Art course in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2006, but soon thereafter acquired sponsorship and moved to London to study. Govinda obtained a MA in Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Art in 2008.

His first solo exhibition, Transcriptions, was held at October Gallery in 2011. In 2012, his work was included in the Summer Exhibition Royal Academy of Arts, London. In 2013, October Gallery held his second solo show Lightness of Being and Tibet House, New York, USA presented the solo exhibition, The Universe Within. Boundless Possibilities (2016) was his third individual exhibition at October Gallery. Govinda Sah’s works can be found in public and private collections worldwide including major collections such as the Royal Collection, Abu Dhabi, UAE.


Gerard Quenum’s work is instantly recognisable owing to his signature use of discarded dolls’ parts and found objects, which create witty yet haunting ‘portraits’. Quenum uses aged dolls which he reconfigures into evocative assemblages. The sculptor’s ability lies in his storytelling, engaging the imaginative faculties by transporting the viewer into an alternate reality transcending time and space. The wooden objects he chooses - mortars, ritual drums or pilings that once supported entire houses in the marshy lagoons surrounding Porto-Novo, also have unique histories. The woods are impregnated with inherited stories, their roughened surfaces speaking about the lives of many, concealing alternate worlds and other experiences entirely. Through his sculptures, Quenum fulfils his main task to ‘act as a messenger’.

Quenum had his first solo exhibition at October Gallery, Clandestins - Stowaways, in 2009 followed by other international exhibitions which include Gerard Quenum: Rupture at the Fondation Zinsou in Cotonou, Benin in 2013 and O dragao entre dois mundos (The Dragon Between Two Worlds) at Museu Afro Brasil in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2010. His works can be found in esteemed collections such as the British Museum, London, UK, and the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, Stanford, USA.

 

FROM OUR STORE



 

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS



 

SELECTED WORKS





 

GÉRARD QUENUM

Born in 1971, Porto-Novo, Benin. Lives and works Porto-Novo, Benin.
Solo Shows
2016  Rêves et Réalités, Gallery 23, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2015  Gérard Quenum – Peintures récentes, Galerie Roy Sfeir, Paris, France
Traces, Art Twenty One, Lagos, Nigeria 
2013  Rupture, Fondation Zinsou, Cotonou, Bénin
Regards Déracinés, Galerie Christopher Gerber, Lausanne, Switzerland 
2012   Dolls Never Die, October Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2010  O dragão entre dois mundos (The Dragon Between Two Worlds), Museu Afro-Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil
  Humeur d’artiste, Résidence Virchaux, Cotonou, Benin
2009  Clandestins, October Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2007  Residency and exhibition in Ateliers d’Allonnes, Allonnes, France
   

Exhibition at Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture, Fontainebleau, France

2004   Exhibitions in Chalon-sur-Saône and Chagny, France
2002   Residency and exhibition at the Kerava Museum of Art, Kerava, Finland
2000   Gérard Quenum, Galerie R. Treger, Paris, France
1999   Exhibition at the Centre Culturel Français (French Cultural Centre), Cotonou, Benin
1998   Voix intérieures (Inner Voices), Maquis Dunya, Cotonou, Benin
Group Shows
2020   LATITUDES Art Fair, Joburg, South Africa, with October Galler, London, UK. (online)   
2019   Dream No Small Dream: Celebrating 40 Years of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2018   1-54 Contemporary Art from Africa, Somerset House, London, with October Gallery, London, UK
IN-DISCIPLINE #1, Espace Montresso, Marrakech, Morocco
2017   Stop Ma Pa Ta (Ma matière première n’est pas ta matière), Villa Arson, Nice, France
Paris-Cotonou-Paris, Galerie Vallois, Paris, France 
2016   AKAA: Also Known as Africa, Contemporary art and design fair, Paris, France, with October Gallery, London, UK
2015   AKAA: Also Known as Africa, Contemporary art and design fair, Paris, France, with October Gallery, London, UK
2014   Blank Canvas, Art Twenty One, Lagos, Nigeria
1-54 Contemporary Art from Africa, Somerset House, London, with October Gallery, London, UK
2013   1-54 Contemporary Art from Africa, Somerset House, London, with October Gallery, London, UK 
2012   Bénin contemporain, Galerie Vallois, Paris, France Moving Into Space: Football and Art in West Africa, National Football Museum, Manchester, United Kingdom
    NO LIMIT – une œuvre/un artiste, Galerie Imane Farès, Paris, France Dangerous and Divine - The Secret of the Serpent, Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, the Netherlands
2011   África ancestral e contemporânea, Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2010   Fesman (World Festival of Black Art), Dakar, Senegal
    Regard – Bénin – 1.0, Cotonou, Benin   
    Gérard Quenum et Dominique Zinkpè, Les Chailloux , St. Boil, France
2009   VOO-DOO: Hoochie Coochie and the Creative Spirit, Riflemaker, London, United Kingdom
    Artistes contemporains du Bénin, Galerie Château des Gondi, Joigny, France
    O Benin está vivo ainda là, Museu da Cultura Afro-Brasileira, Salvador-de-Bahia, Brazil
2008   Partilhar Territórios, 5th International Biennale of São Tomé and Príncipe, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
Bénin 2059, Fondation Zinsou, Cotonou, Benin
    Benin, de corpo e alma, Galeria Bernardo Marques, Lisbon, Portugal
    Angaza Afrika, African Art Now, October Gallery, London, United Kingdom
    Bénin, corps et âme, Multimedia library, Melun, France
    L’oeil de Caïn, Festival Sun’art, Lourmarin, France
2007   Reflets d’Afrique, l’Espal, Le Mans, France
    Voyages - Crossing the Lake of Fire, October Gallery, London, United Kingdom
    O Benin está vivo ainda là, Museu Afro-Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil
2004   Workshop and exhibition, Chalon-sur-Saône, France
    Africas, Galerie Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo, Brazil
2003   Mural together with Zinkpè and Tchif, Maison des Auteurs (House of Authors), Limoges, France
2002   Ewole, International Encounter of Fine Art, Togo
    Collective of eight artists in Pontigny, Yonne, France
2001   Tchif, Quenum, Zinkpè, trois jeunes béninois, travelling exhibition in Benin, Niger,
Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast
    Boulv’art, les artistes dans la rue, Cotonou, Benin
    Boulv’art, La Ciotat, France
2000   Bénin, City Hall of Cergy-Pontoise, Pontoise, France
    Boulv’art, les artistes dans la rue, Cotonou, Benin
    Rendering Visible: Contemporary Art from the Republic of Benin, October Gallery,
London and Cambridge University, United Kingdom
    L’harmattan 2000, 1st Benin Salon of Contemporary Art, Cotonou, Benin
1999   Boulv’art, les artistes dans la rue, Cotonou, Benin
1996   Ewole, International Encounter of Fine Art, Togo
1995   Expo, art béninois contemporain, Centre Culturel Français (French Cultural Centre), Cotonou, Benin
1994   Festaco, Porto-Novo, Benin
Collections
The British Museum, London, United Kingdom
The Pigozzi Collection, Geneva, Switzerland
National Museums of Scotland, Scotland
Museu Afro-Brasil, São Paulo, Brazil
Estúdio Buck, São Paulo, Brazil
Galeria Bernardo Marques, Lisbon, Portugal
Museu Nacional da Cultura Afro-Brasileira, Salvador-de-Bahia, Brazil
Government of Benin, Benin
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, USA

OCTOBER GALLERY ARTISTS