are presenting Tales from the Colony Room: Art and Bohemia, a group exhibition featuring more than seventy artists associated with legendary Soho club, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and Tracey Emin, as well photographers John Deakin, Bruce Bernard and Daniel Farson.
The presentation comes hard on the heels of Tales from the Colony Room: Sohos Lost Bohemia, an oral history of the club edited by Darren Coffield, who is also the curator of the show. He says: For more than fifty years, artists, poets, musicians, actors and writers, plus a fair few criminals, congregated at the club. This show pays homage to some of the biggest names, such as Bacon and Freud, but also the legions of others who made it such a special and influential place, as well as the clubs three proprietors, Muriel Belcher, Ian Board and Michael Wojas.
The exhibition the first of its kind is arranged on two floors, with the lower ground of the gallery devoted to photography. The images include portraits of Bacon and Freud, but also famous Sohoites, such as the late Sebastian Horsley (by Carla Borel), who is also captured in oil by Maggi Hambling. Coffield adds: This is a disparate collection of artists united by one thing: conviviality. The club was a safe haven for creatives and people who lived outside of convention, and its closure in 2008 was without question the end of bohemian London. This show is a celebration of those times.
Coffield and the gallery have drawn together a collation of work, including loans from many important public and private collections. Freud, Bacon and Auerbach are all represented, along with Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Sir Peter Blake and Patrick Caulfield. Reflecting the clubs resurgent popularity with the co-called YBA generation, there are works by Keith Coventry, Gavin Turk and Tracey Emin. Sarah Lucas, who worked behind the bar for a while (as did Damien Hirst, famously doing so naked one evening), has created a sculpture especially for the show.
Says Dellasposa director Jessica Phillimore: The Colony Room Club is very important in the history of British art. It was a place where artists could socialise and exchange ideas. There is nothing like it in London anymore, and probably never will be again, and the work in this show is a testament to the spirit it enkindled in those that went there.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of talks and lectures. Details of these will be announced shortly.
Featured artists: Jankel Adler, Craigie Aitchison, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, David Bailey, Baron, Christopher Battye, Bruce Bernard, Peter Blake, Carla Borel, Cecily Brown, Orlando Campbell, Patrick Caulfield, Daniel Chadwick, Brian Dawn Chalkley, William Corbett, Keith Coventry, Peter Quinn Davies, John Deakin, Tom Deas, Harry Diamond, Craig Easton, Tracey Emin, Jacob Epstein, Angus Fairhurst, Daniel Farson, Angus Forbes, Lucian Freud, Alberto Giacometti, Maggi Hambling, Nina Hamnett, Michael Heath, Michael Heath, Paul Hogarth, Gary Hume, Alyson Hunter, Fred Ingrams, Jak, Ricca Kawai, R. B. Kitaj, Catherine Shakespeare Lane, Stephen Lees, Bill Lloyd, Sarah Lucas, Dan Macmillan, Claudio Manesse, John Minton, James Moores, Frank Norman, Eduardo Paolozzi, Isabel Rawsthorne, William Redgrave, John Richardson, Sophy Rickett, Sir Francis Rose, Robert Rubbish, Elinor Bellingham Smith, Bob and Roberta Smith, F. N. Souza, Trog, Amelia Troubridge, Gavin Turk, Jessica Voorsanger, Ed Winter, Michael Woods