Gérard Quenum: Dolls Never Die

Gérard Quenum: Dolls Never Die

babalawos by gerard quenum

Gerard Quenum

Babalawos, 2012

dictateur by gerard quenum

Gerard Quenum

Dictateur, 2012

en jouant les gros-bras (he-man showing off) by gerard quenum

Gerard Quenum

En jouant les gros-Bras (He-Man Showing Off), 2012

la vendangeuse by gerard quenum

Gerard Quenum

La Vendangeuse, 2012

prête pour la cuisine (ready for cooking) by gerard quenum

Gerard Quenum

Prête pour la cuisine (Ready for Cooking)

rodeo by gerard quenum

Gerard Quenum

Rodeo, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012Saturday, October 27, 2012

London, United Kingdom

October Gallery is pleased to announce Dolls Never Die, the second solo exhibition of new works by sculptor Gérard Quenum.

Dolls Never Die will present a series of new sculptures and an installation composed of recycled objects whose diverse histories contribute much to the overall significance of the pieces themselves. Like many of his contemporaries coming out of Africa, Quenum’s work is composed of an eclectic mix of objets trouvés – that elevates the pieces into poignant, mysterious and whimsical ‘portraits’ of individuals observed in his local environment. These ‘portraits’ serve as a lens through which we view Africa.

The dolls that Quenum employs as models and part-time actors on his stages are doubly-recycled, in that they have already served as hand-me down props, expressing the imaginative outpourings of generations of European children before having been repackaged and sent off to Africa in overseas aid parcels. The transformations imposed by that harsher environment – the loss, over time and with constant use, of eyes, of limbs and hair – are still incapable of entirely exhausting these puppets of their capacities for speech. In Quenum’s artful assemblages the disparate parts come together to assume a narrative gift of tongues.

The sculptor’s magical ability is in knowing how to engage the faculties of the imagination by transporting the viewer into an alternate realm that transcends space and time. So too, with the types of wooden objects he uses: mortars, ritual drums or pilings that once supported entire houses in the marshy lagoons surrounding Porto-Novo. They contain whole hidden histories of inherited stories – impregnated in the wood – whose roughened surfaces bespeak the lives of other peoples, other worlds and other experiences.

Gérard Quenum was born in the coastal town of Porto Novo, Benin in 1971. Quenum stands out as one of the more original creators of a distinct sculptural style using urban detritus. His works can be found in major public collections including the British Museum, National Museums of Scotland and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, California.

In July 2012, Quenum’s work will also be exhibited at the National Football Museum in Manchester as part of its inaugural exhibition entitled Moving Into Space.

Notes for Editors -

Exhibition: Gerard Quenum: Dolls Never Die
Exhibition dates: 20 September – 27 October 2012
Private View date: 19 September 2012

October Gallery
24 Old Gloucester Street
London WC1N 3AL

Telephone: 020 7242 7367
Fax: 020 7405 1851
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12.30 - 5.30pm
Courtyard café: Tuesday – Friday 12.30 - 2.30pm
Admission: Free
Website: www.octobergallery.co.uk
Email: press@octobergallery.co.uk
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Press contact: Alana Pryce Tojcic - 020 7242 7367