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Gallery Talk: Transvangarde
Sat 4 February 2017, 15:00 – 16:30 GMT
Gerard Houghton, Director of Special Projects, will be in conversation with Chili Hawes, Director and Elisabeth Lalouschek, Artistic Director, discussing the history and the artistic trajectory of October Gallery.
The discussion will trace the early years of October Gallery, from its opening in the late 70s to the present, exploring the context and times that gave rise to the notion of the necessity for the existence of a 'trans-cultural avant-garde,' the Transvangarde.
Opening in 1979, October Gallery countered fundamentally inscribed, yet hidden, biases of the western art world by proposing the existence of a trans-cultural avant-garde of important artists from around the world, whose work would be of comparable interest, intensity and significance as that of the exclusive artists of the western canon. Having proposed such a notion, October Gallery set about in search of just such a selection of artists, travelling far and wide to discover them.
The Gallery also exhibited artists of the avant-garde, artists such as Gerald Wilde in 1979, William Burroughs for the first time in the UK in 1988 and Brion Gysin in 1981. These free-thinking innovators epitomized those ’cutting-edge’ artists at the forefront of experimentation in new media and processes who challenged the traditional western notion of the meaning of Art itself.
Throughout the years October Gallery has held many Transvangarde exhibitions, presenting a wide variety of master-works of contemporary art, sitting easily together, side by side, and engaging in powerfully interactive dialogues with each other. This current exhibition, therefore marks the coming of age, after 38 years, of this on-going experiment in the visual arts that, has deepened and enriched our overall notions of what constitutes contemporary art at the beginning of this 21st century.