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Transvangarde: Pushing Boundaries

October Gallery, London

Thu 2 Feb 2023 to Sat 11 Mar 2023

Private view: Wednesday 1 February, 6pm-8.30pm. RSVP ‘Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.’ – Rumi October Gallery presents Transvangarde: Pushing Boundaries, an exhibition of dynamic works by El Anatsui, Aubrey Williams, Zana Masombuka, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, Jordan Ann Craig, and more. Comprising painting, works on paper, sculpture and photography, the exhibition explores the notion that if a true vanguard of contemporary artists exists today, it will be composed of artists pushing beyond the limits of national and cultural boundaries. Taken altogether, such artists constitute a global, contemporary transvangarde.


Leopard's Paw Prints and Other  Stories

El Anatsui

Leopard's Paw Prints and Other Stories, 1991

Tropical hardwoods

910 × 410 mm

41 x 91 cm

Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery London. Photo: © Jonathan Greet.

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Your Wildest Dreams

Jordan Ann Craig

Your Wildest Dreams, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

1400 × 1520 mm

152 x 140 cm

Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery London. Photo: © Jonathan Greet.

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Time: Gadesi S'khathi

Zana Masombuka

Time: Gadesi S'khathi, 2018

True black and white giclée print on Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta 325 gsm paper

560 × 840 mm

84 x 56 cm

Edition of 10. © Zana Masombuka Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery London. Photo: Vuyo Thloloe

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As the late, renowned curator Okwui Enwezor suggested, ‘contemporary art provides a means to engage with history, politics, and society in our global present’. These artists have shared visions of the world, bring complex questions into focus, and use their work to express their experiences and what is most urgent around them. Through their practice, these artists push the boundaries of their work to engage critically with the contemporary present.

As one of the most significant visual artists of our time, El Anatsui has received widespread international acclaim for his radical sculptural experiments with both medium and form. This New Year exhibition will feature early wood reliefs by the artist alongside more recent prints from the Benchmarks series he created in collaboration with Factum Arte, Madrid.

Aubrey Williams’ work is testament to a fundamental belief that the avant-garde existed beyond cultural borders. William’s work resists classification, hovering between abstract and figurative but also between physical and artistic geographies. Transvangarde: Pushing Boundaries, includes selected works on paper. Exhibiting his work today encourages a re-examination of British art history under a new lens and opens up a provocative new dialogue on his work and its contemporary influence.

Zana Masombuka’s ever-evolving practice investigates the intersections between modernity, tradition and culture. In her series Time: Gadesi S'khathi, Masombuka aims to capture the essence of time: through the metaphorical use of lemons, she hints at the passing on and tensions of generational knowledge and how this informs identity and belonging. Her works deploy Ndebele cultural lore, symbolism and material contrast in a radical re-examination of the self as an individual unit within a larger collective.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga explores the seismic shifts in the economic, political and social identity of the Democratic Republic of Congo that have taken place since colonialism. This exhibition will showcase a new painting, L’ombre du passé, a recent addition to the ongoing series Ghost of the Present, which explores issues of Congolese identity and resistance from the late 19th century to present times.

Northern Cheyenne artist Jordan Ann Craig creates paintings that are as meditative as they are meticulous. Craig draws upon her intuitive impressions of the past and present to reflect upon issues of Indigenous design as seen through a contemporary perspective. Her captivating abstract geometrical paintings and prints expand the definition of Native American art, even as they uncover the processes by which cultures are maintained and transmitted into the future.

Works by Gerald Wilde, Alexis Peskine, Susanne Kessler, Romuald Hazoumè, LR Vandy, Sokari Douglas Camp, Tian Wei, will be presented amongst others.

Jordan Ann Craig, 
Your Wildest Dreams, 2021. 
Acrylic on canvas 
152 x 140 cm. 
Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery London. Photo: © Jonathan Greet

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