, the well-loved home for artists in London and the hub of a global network with partners from Rio to Jonahnesburg, Tehran and Dhaka; is delighted to announce that it will reopen to the public on 24 September 2015 after purchasing its freehold and undergoing a major redevelopment by award-winning British architects HAT Projects. The unveiling of the space will be accompanied by an exhibition of newly commissioned work by emerging South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere. Open Studios with artists-in-residence Grace Weinrib (Chile), Desire Machine Collective (India), Andrea Canepa (Peru) and Rubén Grilo (Spain) will follow on Saturday 26 September.
In 1994, Gasworks organised for Chris Ofili to participate in an artists workshop in Zimbabwe, in 2007 it curated the first solo exhibitions of Lynette Yiadom Boakye and Renata Lucas, and in 2013 hosted the residency of Ibrahim Mahama who is currently presenting the largest installation within the Arsenale at this years Venice Biennale. Under the direction of Alessio Antoniolli, the redevelopment secures a permanent home for Gasworks and will allow the pioneering organisation to continue to nurture future generations of artists and their audiences in Vauxhall, South London.
The Redevelopment of Gasworks
The £2.1 million project, including the purchase of the freehold of the building for £1.1 million, has been funded by a £1.2 million grant from Arts Council England as well as by contributions from artists and donations from many trusts, foundations and generous individuals. In addition, a number of internationally renowned Gasworks Alumni, including Turner prize winners and nominees, donated works to a fundraising auction hosted by Christies in October 2013; and to a Kickstarter campaign curated by Art Basel, in October 2014.
HAT Projects were selected in 2013 as the architects for the redevelopment of Gasworks. Their proposal for the 650m2 structure has included:
· Doubling the size of exhibition spaces.
· Providing a purpose built education and events space.
· Creating two new studios for London-based artists, raising the total studio number to 13.
· Adding a kitchen area for artists and their visitors.
· Ensuring the building is fully accessible and more environmentally friendly.
Gasworks' newly redeveloped building will now be able to match the quality of the art that is produced and displayed there.
Solo Exhibition by Kemang Wa Lehulere (24 September 8 November 2015)
The first presentation within the new gallery space at Gasworks will be a solo exhibition by South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere. Working in a variety of media, including performance, drawing, installation, text, and photography, Wa Lehuleres work includes creating events and environments as tools to help understand South Africas past and present. His work engages with the spaces between personal narrative and collective history as well as between processes of amnesia and archive. For his exhibition at Gasworks, the artist will create a large-scale wall drawing alongside other wall-based
and sculptural works. This exhibition will mark Wa Lehuleres first solo exhibition in the UK.
The legacy of Gasworks and the Triangle Network in the international art community
The redevelopment of Gasworks will provide an opportunity for the organisation to expand upon the pioneering work it has carried out in the international art world since 1994. Based in the rapidly changing area of Vauxhall in South London, Gasworks has a legacy of offering a ground-breaking programme of exhibitions, international residencies, artists studios and outreach activities. Since opening, Gasworks has provided studios for dozens of London-based artists and hosted more than 300 artists from 70 countries around the world. Many of the artists who have participated in Gasworks residencies or have been involved in its programming have gone on to exhibit at major institutions and art events, and have received nominations for or won prestigious awards including the Turner Prize, Absolut Award and Pinchuk Art Prize. Gasworks alumni include Yinka Shonibare, Goshka Macuga, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, The Otolith Group, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Tania Bruguera, Song Dong, Hassan Khan, Alexandre da Cunha, Renata Lucas, Cinthia Marcelle, and Subodh Gupta. 20 of its alumni are currently showing work in the Venice Biennale.
Gasworks is also the hub of Triangle Network, an international network of over thirty arts organisations, mostly based in Africa, Asia and South America that support emerging artists throughout the world with artist-led workshops, residencies and exhibitions. Similarly, Gasworks has an extensive network of peers and collaborators in London. Gasworks is a founding member of Common Practice (a cluster of small-scale arts organisations including Chisenhale, Studio Voltaire and The Showroom), and regularly collaborates with partners including: Open School East, Frieze Art Fair and Tate Modern. Gasworks and Triangle Network have been under the direction of Alessio Antoniolli since 2005.
Alessio Antoniolli, Director of Gasworks and Triangle Network said Securing and upgrading the building is a huge milestone for Gasworks. Such unprecedented confidence in our future means we can continue to focus our attention on bringing the best international artists to work alongside emerging local talent. We look forward to becoming a major artistic hub in the fast-changing area of Vauxhall and will continue to bring exciting new projects to our expanding audiences, starting with the first solo show in the UK of Kemang Wa Lehulere.
Artist, former studio holder and now Gasworks' Trustee, Alexandre da Cunha said Gasworks for me was a studio, a home, a friends house...a college. When you are a young artist it is almost a privilege to have all that. On top of it, Gasworks does a really good job of bringing artists from different countries together, establishing a really rich dialogue between whats happening in London and abroad.
Hana Loftus of HAT Projects said Working with Gasworks has been a wonderful collaboration, and we are delighted to have enabled this transformation of their physical space. Gasworks has a really special quality in combining the place where artists make their work, with the place it is exhibited, critiqued and learnt from. The reconfiguring of the building creates a stronger street presence and vastly better quality internal spaces, but also now connects all these functions in an intuitive spatial sequence. We are excited to see the art that is made and shown here in the years to come.
Peter Heslip, Director of Visual Arts, Arts Council England said We are excited to see Gasworks reopen this autumn after a landmark refurbishment by HAT Projects. Small scale, artist focussed organisations are important to Arts Council England and Gasworks has an impressive track record of supporting artists at key moments in their careers, through providing quality, affordable studio space and career defining residencies and exhibitions. At a time when the workspace infrastructure in London is under pressure from a rising property market, we were delighted to have enabled Gasworks to purchase its building. It is another in a string of strategic investments which represent our ongoing commitment to supporting individual artists. I look forward to watching Gasworks continuing success in delivering their unique programme and contributing to a sense of place in its South London neighbourhood.