Stephen Friedman Gallery opens its new London location

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Stephen Friedman Gallery opens its new London location
Installation view: ‘Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: Free The Wind, The Spirit, and The Sun’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (2023). Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery. Photo by Mark Blower.

LONDON.- Stephen Friedman Gallery opened its new gallery at 5-6 Cork Street in Mayfair, London, designed by David Kohn Architects.

A relocation from its original site of 28 years at Old Burlington Street, Mayfair, and a significant expansion, the gallery’s new building features three bespoke exhibition spaces, a new mezzanine level, a library and several private viewing rooms.

A new landscaped sculpture garden designed by Tod Longstaffe-Gowen is accessible via the gallery and Cork Street Mews; an enchanting oasis in Mayfair with large scale sculptures by the gallery’s artists. British artist David Shrigley has collaborated with the architects to create a garden gate and a kiosk which invites the visitor to ‘linger’ in the space.

Commissioned sculptures by Stephen Friedman Gallery artists:

• Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye lives and works in New York, United States.
• Japanese artist Izumi Kato lives and works between Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong.
• American artist Woody De Othello lives and works in Oakland, California.
• British artist David Shrigley lives and works in Brighton, United Kingdom.

Stephen Friedman Gallery will present a solo exhibition by Leilah Babirye at Frieze London from 11-15 October 2023. The artist also features in Frieze Sculpture alongside Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, both with large new works.

The gallery’s inaugural exhibition is a celebratory solo show by Shonibare. In ‘Free The Wind, The Spirit, and The Sun’, the artist was inspired by the dada spirit, which challenged the bourgeois values and traditions of Western art, from the Renaissance to Naturalism and Impressionism. The exhibition also includes a group presentation of emerging and established African artists, and artists from the African diaspora, curated by Shonibare. Some of these artists participated in Shonibare’s residency program at Guest Artists Space Foundation (G.A.S.) in Lagos, Nigeria. Sculpture and paintings on canvas, paper, and unstretched linen are featured in the exhibition.

Stephen Friedman Gallery represents 40 emerging and established artists and estates from around the world including: Mamma Andersson; Juan Araujo; Tonico Lemos Auad; Leilah Babirye; Jonathan Baldock; Stephan Balkenhol; Sarah Ball; Claire Barclay; Caroline Coon; Melvin Edwards; Andreas Eriksson; Manuel Espinosa; Denzil Forrester; Tom Friedman; Jeffrey Gibson; Kendell Geers; Wayne Gonzales; Hulda Guzmán; Channing Hansen; Holly Hendry; Thomas Hirschhorn; Jim Hodges; Izumi Kato; Ilona Keserü; Rivane Neuenschwander; Ged Quinn; Deborah Roberts; Anne Rothenstein; Yinka Shonibare CBE RA; David Shrigley; Jiro Takamatsu; Caroline Walker; Kehinde Wiley and Luiz Zerbini.

Artists who have joined the gallery recently include Sky Glabush; Pam Glick; Woody De Othello and Yooyun Yang.

The gallery continues to work with The Pollen Estate, who is committed to the progressive evolution of its buildings and streets in Mayfair. The Estate aims to continue to enhance Cork Street’s status as a global destination for modern and contemporary art.

David Kohn Architects has worked with art institutions such as the V&A, ICA, Whitechapel Gallery, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, as well as commercial galleries. This is the gallery’s second collaboration with the architectural firm, having previously designed one of its existing gallery spaces.

Stephen Friedman said: “We are extremely proud of the new gallery. It reflects the creative thoughts of many people and supports what is most important to us: our exceptional artists, our talented team and our gallery’s ethos. I stand tall with the likes of Freddie Mayor, Leslie Waddington and Peggy Guggenheim who were early pioneers on Cork Street and am thrilled to be part of its next generation of galleries. This new chapter is an inspiring and exciting time in our history.”

Artist David Shrigley said: “The gate that I made for Stephen Friedman Gallery instructs its audience not to linger at it. One must either enter fully or remain outside. Lingering at the gate is both dangerous and suggests a weakness of character; an inability to fully commit to a purpose. However, once through the gate and into the courtyard: Lingering at the coffee kiosk is actively encouraged as it can be healthy and is low risk.”

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