During January and February 2012, Sadie Coles HQ presented Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978, an archive of photographs by artist Nicola Tyson which documents the London club scene of the late 1970s. The images are presented as ten giant ‘contact sheets’, alongside a selection of larger single-frame prints.
These images capture the earliest genesis of the New Romantic scene that was to define the decade ahead. They form a record that is at once autobiographical and social, beginning with shots from a family holiday and bearing witness to Tyson’s immersion in the scene revolving around Billy’s Club on Dean Street.
Billy’s was one of the first generation of ‘out’ gay clubs in Soho and ‘Bowie Nights’, hosted by DJ Rusty Egan and Steve Strange, was a legendary Tuesday-night fixture of glam and androgyny and outrageous costume. It was frequented by a teenaged George O’Dowd (Boy George) complete with pompadour haircut and baggy dungarees, Peter Robinson (Marylin) with Jordan ‘hairdo’, Jeremy Healy, Phillip Sallon, and Princess Julia, Simon Le Bon, Siobhan Fahey and various other soon-to-be icons of the 1980s .
In January 2013, Sadie Coles HQ presents Un titled, an exhibition of works by Angus Fairhurst. The concept of ‘undoing’ pervaded Fairhurst’s art – absence was an ever-present motif. Words such as ‘unwritten’, ‘undone’, and ‘untouched’ formed many of his titles. This exhibition, Un-titled, paraphrases these terms of negation and reversal. Encompassing a variety of media including sculpture, painting, collage and photography, the exhibition brings to the fore the cycles and oppositions that were at the core of his thinking.
The gallery is wallpapered with black-and-white imagery from Fairhurst’s 1998 series of thirty silkscreen paintings, Underdone / Overdone. Executed in different combinations of prime colours, these were based on black-and-white photographs of thickets in Epping Forest. He repeated the woodland imagery in increasing layers throughout the series, moving from recognisable depictions of crisscrossing trees to near-abstract accumulations of thick colour.
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