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Transvangarde: a global convergence of artists

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Alexis Peskine, Power, 2017. Moon gold leaf on nails, earth, coffee, water and acrylic on wood, 195 x 250 cm. Courtesy October Gallery.<br />

Described as art exhibition of contemporary art by outstanding artists from all over the world, Transvangarde shows at October Gallery, London from 1 February – 3 March 2018

Tian Wei, Golnaz Fathi, Laila Shawa, Alexis Peskine, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, El Anatsui, Romuald Hazoumè, Govinda Sah ‘Azad’ and Kenji Yoshida among others are the Transvangarde artists.

October Gallery recalls that for over 38 years, it has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde, a coin from the trans-cultural avant-garde.

On view will be striking new canvases by Tian Wei. Born in Xi’an, China, Wei’s bold abstract calligraphic works are playfully cross-cultural. At first glance his canvases resemble Chinese calligraphy, however when studied, resolve themselves into words understandable in English, giving the viewer access to the artist’s lived experience within the East and the West.

Wei studied in Hawaii and is currently undertaking an artist’s residency Iconoclasm and Vandalism at the Getty Foundation, Los Angeles. His second solo exhibition at October Gallery will be held in autumn, 2018. Like Tian Wei, Golnaz Fathi one of only a tiny handful of women trained to the highest level in Persian calligraphy, pushes the boundaries of legibility and intelligibility in her work through the amalgamation of traditional and contemporary practices. The result is breathtaking and each work is densely inscribed with potential meanings allowing unrestrained imaginative possibilities.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga is one of the most exciting young artists working in Africa. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1991, he trained at the Kinshasa Academy of Arts. His large-scale paintings possess a monumental quality that is both heroic and elegiac. October Gallery will present a second solo exhibition of his work in late spring, 2018. Alexis Peskine of Brazilian and Russian heritage was born in Paris. His work focuses on questions of identity. Peskine’s painstaking method involves hammering nails of different lengths and with pinpoint accuracy, into wood, resulting in intensely visceral composites.

Metaphorically connecting the nail to the Black Experience, he depicts figures that portray strength, perseverance and self-possession, with an energy startlingly reminiscent of the Minkisi ‘power figures’ of the Congo basin. Another artist renowned for her powerful political viewpoint is Laila Shawa. Her uncompromising documentation of events in today’s Middle East include the creation of canvases and sculptures that comment upon major episodes of modern Palestinian history.

October Gallery has represented El Anatsui since the early 90s. Globally-renowned for his iconic hangings of aluminium bottle-tops, Anatsui’ s artistic practice has always been rooted in the discovery of new media: his current series of pioneering prints, Benchmarks are a reflection of this creative process and selected prints will be presented within Transvangarde. In 2015, Anatsui was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th Venice Biennale, All the World’s Futures, and he was honoured with the Praemium Imperiale Award for Sculpture, in Tokyo, in 2017.

Transvangarde will include signature pieces by Romuald Hazoumè, a master of many diverse media. Hazoumè creates masks, photographs, paintings, sculptures and multimedia installations that include sound and video components. His creations mark him as one of the most innovative artists to emerge from Africa. Hazoumè’s works are humorous and wryly political. During his artistic career, he has created a series of monumental installations that act as metaphors of African place, history and identity. Hazoumè was the Arnold Bode prizewinner at Documenta 12, and his work has been shown in major international galleries and museums.

Also included will be work on canvas by Nepalese artist, Govinda Sah. His subtle ‘sky-scapes’ suggest an infinite universe, the invisible space portrayed by the cloud. Tibet House, New York, presented a solo exhibition of his paintings in 2013 and October Gallery presented an exhibition in 2016.

Also on display will be selected works by Kenji Yoshida, whose ethereal gold, silver and precious metals on canvas unite a restrained tradition of Japanese appliqué work with that of an abstract

Private View is scheduled for 31 January 2018.


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