As we approach the end of 2021, we invite you to join us in looking back at an outstanding year, during which Unit London organised more than 50 major exhibitions, across our Mayfair gallery, international museums and institutions, as well as our online exhibition programme Platform.
A year of groundbreaking firsts, we are proud to have presented Joshua Hagler’s first dedicated artist monograph, which coincided with his third solo exhibition with the gallery, entitled The Living Circle Us and curated by David Anfam.
Marking a pivotal point in our programme was the group exhibition Song of Songs, which featured 12 master paintings by British Surrealist Ithell Colquhoun. Curated by Rachel Thomas, Head of Exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition preceded Colquhoun’sinclusion in Tate Modern’s 2022 landmark exhibition Surrealism Beyond Borders. The multidisciplinary exhibition included 12 master paintings by Colquhoun, presented in conversation with leading and emerging international artists. In addition, the exhibition was presented in aid of Samaritans and Pieta House; a percentage of sales going directly to the charities.
In line with the gallery ethos to showcase emerging talent, our online exhibitions programme Platform hosted 22 exhibitions this year, one of which was its first Group Exhibition: Imaging Blackness, curated byAindrea Emelife. Comprising 16 contemporary Black photographers, the exhibition was an exploration of the Black identity today. A socially-conscious space, Platform is proud to support charity at its core, donating 10% of proceeds from each show to a cause of the artist’s choosing. Through our exhibitions and initiatives, we are proud to have raised over £55,000 for charities and non-profit organisations across the globe.
Our programme pushed the boundaries of other art forms this year through NFTism: No Fear in Trying, a historic international group exhibition, comprising 100 digital, physical and Crypto artworks. Curated by Kenny Schachter, this monumental exhibition took place physically and in the Metaverse, marking the official launch of Institut – the hotly anticipated art world NFT platform, revolutionising the way we access and experience art.
Beyond our London Mayfair gallery exhibitions, we ventured into multiple international projects. Some of which included two collaborations with Asia Art Center; one on a group show curated by Melanie Lum, including works by Oh de Laval and Cydne Jasmin Coleby, and the other a presentation of Rex Southwick’s and Jake Wood Evans’ works at Art Taipei 2021. Another first was Jake Wood-Evans’ solo exhibition with Mougins Museum, Ryan Hewett’s first solo exhibition with UTA Artist Space in Los Angeles and Ziping Wang’s solo exhibition with WT Foundation, Kiev.
We look forward to welcoming you in the New Year with more curated solo and group exhibitions, from some of the most important artists working today. Forthcoming projects include Monsters – a debut London solo show from Suchitra Mattai and curated by Rebecca Hart, previously Modern and Contemporary Art Curator of the Denver Art Museum. In this multimedia exhibition, Mattai employs memory, myth and fantasy to explore the way in which society alienates immigrants and people with a mental illness, by “monstering” them.
Following this, in February 2022, Unit London will present Eternalising Art History: From Da Vinci to Modigliani. This truly groundbreaking exhibition showcases six digital reproductions of Great Italian Master works, which have never been displayed in the UK before. Harnessing the most cutting-edge web3 technology, these masterpieces are certified on the Blockchain and recreated as physical reproductions of the original works. The digital artworks have been produced in partnership with four major Italian cultural institutions, including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, whose conservation efforts will directly benefit from 50% of the sales of the works in the exhibition.
Thank you for your continued support as the gallery strives ever further towards building a more significant role for the creative and visual arts in the future of our societies. We firmly believe that mass engagement with art plays a critical role in cultivating creative thought, and driving positive change in the world. Championing art and creativity to the broadest possible audience is, and will continue to be, the gallery’s core mission in 2022 and beyond!
2021 Exhibitions (in order of appearance):
Song of Songs, Group Exhibition, curated by Rachel Thomas. Joshua Hagler, The Living Circle Us, curated by David Anfam. Sthenjwa Luthuli, Imfumbatho. Jason Boyd Kinsella, Fragments. Ryan Hewett, H +, UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles. NFTism: No Fear in Trying, Institut Group Exhibition, curated by Kenny Schachter. Transformations, Institut Group Exhibition. Oh De Laval, Wild Things Happen In Stillness. Cydne Jasmin Coleby, Queen Mudda, curated by Natalie Willis. Option Nyahunzvi, Kwatinobva Kunoyera (Sacred Origins). Esther Janssen, Silence. Seth Armstrong, Overlook. Teiji Hayama, I link, therefore I am. Will Martyr, You Gave Me Paradise. Ziping Wang, The Other Landscape. Amadeo Morelos, Providence. Rites of Passage, Group Exhibition. Jason Seife, A Small Spark vs a Great Forest. Jeremy Olson, the likes of others. Mr Jago, Imbolc. Jake Wood Evans, Vanitas, Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins.
Platform: Stacey Gillian Abe, Of Kings, Queens and Prostitutes. Imaging Blackness, Group Exhibition, curated by Aindrea Emelife. Daisy Collingridge. Heesoo Kim. Anna Liber-Lewis. Gill Button. Alex Seton. Kristof Santy. To view our full 2021 Platform programme click here.