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Sarah Maple

The Dazed Gallery Retrospective

We look back on the last three years of shows at the recently decommissioned Dazed Gallery and present a gallery showcasing many of the artists who exhibited with us

For the last three years I have programmed and often curated the exhibitions at the now decommissioned Dazed Gallery. In that time, we’ve had everything from RCA undergraduates to award-winning artists exhibit with us in shows that have veered from the political to the irreverent, with everything in between. The below list covers 2006-2009, but there were many shows before these, far too many to collate here. The most legendary of those early shows featured overblown close-ups of sphincters. I guess you could say we’ve had pretty much everything. We would like to extend thanks to all of those artists who exhibited with us. John-Paul Pryor


BARE BONES: For the final Dazed Gallery show the Bare Bones collective covered the walls with everything from portraits of Shane MacGowan eating Beach Boys singles, to red top-baiting slogans such as "GAY BLACK IMMIGRANT PEADO SEX RAMPAGE". It was subversive, stupid and utterly brilliant.

Featured Artists: Bill Bragg, Chris Bianchi, Hannah BaysHarry MaltHeretic PrintmakersNeal Fox Niall O’Brien,Robert RubbishSteph Von Reiswitz. Curated by Harry Malt.

THE SPARTANS: For its penultimate show, the Dazed Gallery presented an exhibition of photographs of New York street fighters known as The Spartans. James Mooney’s reportage style shots took us deep inside the world of the Big Apple’s dispossessed and proved that at all levels of society there are people of immense dignity… even if they do look hard as nails.

WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE: In an effort to explore notions of social identity, Dazed asked five young artists to respond to the ubiquitous question that all of us have heard at one time or another. The resulting work was mind-bendingly original, featuring, among other things, a painting of a badger and a robin discussing Charles Manson.

Featured Artists: Luke Drozd, Hal SearDaryl Waller, Kirsten Edwards and Debbie Metherell. Curated by John-Paul Pryor.

SADS: Having Aaron Rose’s excellent SADS project playing live in your gallery space is a rare treat and this had to be a real high point. It was pretty surreal watching a whole bunch of people sitting in front of a live band with headphones clamped to their skulls.

SELFISH: Rankin’s assistants took over the Dazed Gallery for two months with a radically diverse group show that showcased their talents... it was entitled Selfish because they fought over space in the gallery with characteristic aplomb.

Featured photographers: Neil Francis Dawson, Dominic Storer, Damien Fry, Rachel Smith, Liza Barber, Andrew Davies, Michael Tinney. Curated by Damien Fry.

TWENTY: Featuring 20 of Japan’s up-and-coming young artists, this unique and beautiful group show was curated by Kounosuke Kawakami and explored themes of melodrama and melancholia. The work ranged from Kounosuke's own eerie and deeply atmospheric landscapes to Kentaro Kobuke's nostalgia-inducing and strangely child-like portraiture.

Featured Artists: Tereza Buskova, Matt Franks, Toshiaki Hicosaka, Max Hymes, Yutaka Inagawa, Kounosuke Kawakami, David Kefford, Kengo Kito, Kentaro Kobuke, Meiro Koizumi, Masakatsu Kondo, Tom Leighton, Stine Ljungalh, Peter McDonald, Robert Platt, Hiraki Sawa, Tomoaki Suzuki, Riceboy Sleeps, Akiko Takizawa, Christian Ward. Curated by Kounosuke Kawakami.

AARON LA CRATE: MURDALAND: When the legendary B-more DJ asked us if he could exhibit photographs of his hometown and throw a party (which was shut down by the police) we were only too happy to oblige.

THE BLACK DOGS VERSUS THE WERE WOLVES OF LONDON: For Christmas, these two art collectives took each other on in an immense north versus south art-based face off. All of the art exhibited was made to public order and sold in a particularly boozy auction.

Featured Artists: Michael Lawton, Claire McArdle, Mike Ryder, Luke Drozd, George Cutts, Edward Newton, Andy Abbott, Steven Allbutt, Michael Burkitt, Dan Carey, Yvonne Carmichael

ROBERT PRISEMAN – AMERICAN EXECUTION: The acclaimed cutting-edge painter took over the gallery with his searing and terrifying meditations on the various execution methods still on the statute books in the United States. This had to be one of the Dazed Gallery’s most talked about shows and is one we are proud to have exhibited.

PLASTIC LITTLE: Jayson Musson unveiled his slogan-based artworks at The Dazed Gallery to a rapturous crowd of people who were more than a little confused by his over-sized printed rants about cocaine abuse, institutionalised racism and under-age sex.

RICHARD CSIK: We were proud to be the first gallery in the UK to exhibit the Hungarian painters faux-modernist work.

PHILLIP SMILEY – CABIN FEVER: The illustrator took over the gallery for one month with strange drawings inspired by the natural ‘and the unnatural’ world.

KAORI ANDO – THIS IS OUR SECRET: Kaori Ando’s disturbing photographs of toy-like sculptures sought to re-ignite our understanding of child abuse by focusing on the profound social isolation suffered by its victims. This controversial show was without precedent.
Kaori Ando

NEW: In this show LCC graduates passed around some personality-defining cultural artifacts and tried to make some sense of them through their shared practice of design – exploring human identity and the subjective nature and meaning of said objects through the exchange of ownership.

THE WAR TO END ALL WARS: All of the artists involved in this show responded to the following questions – if there truly was a “War To End All Wars” what would it be like and how would it manifest itself? Would its outcome be positive or negative? Would it bring absolute destruction or rebirth and renewal? The show kicked up a hell of a storm, with Giuseppe Di Bella’s stamps portraying human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib earning him the dubious honour of being investigated by the FBI.

Featured Artists: Sarah Maple, Robert Montgomery, David Fryer, Luke Drozd, Rachel Wilberforce, Leo Todd, Valerio Di Lucente, Louisa Lau, Sarah Bargieala, Ben Freeman, Giuseppe Di Bella. Curated by John-Paul Pryor.

JOHN SQUIRE: The legendary Stone Roses guitar player needs no introduction. Dazed were proud to be one of the very first UK galleries to exhibit his intensely personal abstract pantings.

A MILLION FACES: In cooperation with Amnesty International's Control Arms campaign, Dazed exhibited passport-style portraits sent in by the public. There weren’t quite a million of them, but the thousands we did receive took long enough to hang.

FUMI NAGASAKA – BOYS KEEP SWINGING: This was one of the Japanese photographer’s first ever shows and it confirmed her as a truly major talent. 

UNDO: Featuring highly-acclaimed artists from Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria and other parts of the Middle East, this group show was a searing meditation on bereavement and loss. The groundbreaking show was organised in conjunction with a major initiative at the Tate Modern and The Contemporary Art Platform.

Featured artists: Mohamed AbdullaYasmeen Al AwadiZiad AntarOreet Ashery, Maja Bajevic, Ali Cherri, Nemanja Cvijanovic, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Sagi Groner, The Infinity Project, Dana Levy, Leigh Matthewman, Vesna Milicevic, Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir, Vladimir Tomic and Rachel Wilberforce. Curated by Predrag Pajdic.

MIRAI TOMONO – A PLACE TO CHILL: The Japanese Photographer’s unique images transformed the gallery into a place for zen-like reflection for one month.

21 GRAMS: This group show by artists in their final year at the Royal College, LCC and Central St Martins marked the 100th anniversary of a controversial scientific experiment in which one Dr Duncan MacDougall claimed to have identified the physical weight of the human soul. Ben Freeman’s James Brown cassette with the tape spilling all over the place had to take the prize for being the most imaginatively skewed. Never before or since have so many artists crammed into such a small space.

Featured Artists: Joel Somerfield, Ali Hodgson, Zamir Antonio, Valerio Di Lucente and Angelo Santucci, THIS IS, Lynsey Atkin Hugo Timm Isobel Manning, ;Polona Dolzan, Philip Cooper, Joseph Childs, Anne Arboe Harild, Antoine Choussat, Catrin MorganCharlotte Coulais, Mariki, Eileen Ramsay, Erwan Lhuissier, Oscar Bauer and Ewan Robertson, Leo Todd, Maria José Cardador, Georgia HarrisonHayley Potter, Federico Gallo, Annabel Fraser, Kim Glegg, Stefanie BürgelHannah Rae AltonEva KellenbergerBen Freeman

ROSE STALLARD: Rose Stallard’s illustrations of fuzz boxes, guitars and rock stars are an irreverent paean to 70s rock iconography and this solo show provided a unique insight into the ephemera of teenage rebellion.

REBIRTH LEBANON: Twelve Lebanese artists, each working in their own particular medium, gave us their take on the events that shook the region summer in 2006; events which saw a country that has worked hard to rebuild itself as a progressive cultural mosaic of the Middle East widely perceived as a place of violence, division and cyclical conflict. This show was incredible.

Featured Artists: Elyse Tabet, Karen KaramLaura GhorayebMarzen KerbajRachel TabetZena El Kahlil. Curated by Lara Mansour.

MATT IRWIN: This was the now legendary fashion photographer’s debut show. It lifted a rock on London's alternative scene and gave the world an up-close-and-personal insight into the transient fleeting world of a profoundly creative, if profoundly disaffected generation.

STUDIO GARUDIAGE: For one month The Dazed Gallery became the home of all things darts. The Peckham-based collective of artists invited eighteen young artists to visualize their pet hates in the form of illustrations screen printed onto dartboards and we all took aim.

LUKE DROZD – MCWAR: Luke Drozd has been a long-standing friend of the Dazed Gallery and in his first show for us his enormous canvasses married images of war with the vicious iconography of capitalist America and childhood ephemera.

SIMON MARRIOTT: The award-winning artist’s drawings of patients in an intensive pain clinic he himself was attending showed an empathy for the frailty and ultimately hopeless condition of their subjects but also conveyed a powerful stoicism.

PHILLIPA HORAN: THE GREAT WAVE: Philippa Horan is a uniquely challenging artist, often adopting myriad idenities. The Great Wave was a triptych painted in acrylics which played with notions of identity and questioned contemporaneous notions of art history.

VOTE JASPER JOFFE: In response to the general election we invited Jasper Joffe to hang his faux naive excavations of all that is absurd, psychotic and unpleasant in human nature all over the walls and ceiling. The show also featured Robert Montgomery and the late Sean Flynn's film Coyote, which explored the ultimate powerlessness of the individual artist. The most popular attraction on the night were Anthony Ditchfield’s life-size cut outs of Blair and Bush, which people were invited to shoot with an air pistol... something I took endless pleasure in. Curated by John-Paul Pryor.

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