The Lisson Gallery has always been a renegade at forefront of the London art scene, ever since its humble beginnings back in 1967. After a successful showing for Young Contemporaries in the Tate, Lisson Gallery founder Nicholas Logsdail, created a showcase for his fellow Slade School of Fine art students in his Marylebone House. What started as a rebellious showcase, which eventually ended up in his dismissal from the school, resulted in the inception of the one of London’s pioneer contemporary art galleries, which opened its doors in Bell Street on the 4th of April 1967. One of the first galleries to explore highly conceptual themes, minimalism, and pure unapologetically creative presentations — always a step removed from the often intimidating London art world.
For decades, Logsdail and the Lisson Gallery has celebrated international experimental artists; showing artists in the likes ofLi Yuan-Chia, Derek Jarman, and Yoko Ono, in their first year alone. The Lisson Gallery gave way for many American artists to gain recognition in London; presenting the inaugural London Shows of several important minimal conceptual artists throughout the years. This includes Carl Andre, Mel Bochner, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Sol Lewitt. With the opening of the Lisson Galleries other show spaces in Milan and New York, they have been in the work of introducing a flurry of influential British artists to the world: Anish Kapoor, Richard Long, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, and Julie Opie are just some of the numerous artists the Lisson Gallery has showcased. During a time when these legends were relatively unknown and could find no other gallery to show them, The Lisson Gallery served as judicious medium by which young artists could truly prosper.
2017 celebrates a momentous occasion for the gallery, which celebrates its 50th year anniversary. In congruence with the launch, the Lisson Gallery will also be releasing a major publication this October. Curated by Dutch designer, Irma Boom - the publication will an expansive catalogue, a directory of sorts, with an A-to-Z of all the 150 artists that have had solo exhibitions at the Lisson Gallery as well as the gallery’s over 500 shows. A beautiful collection of works that encompass sketches, lithographs, photographs, along with other ephemeral works that create a truly stunning archive of one of London’s most influential galleries. The Lisson Gallery has always fostered young talent, and in celebration of their 50th year anniversary, they will be launching a series of on and off site exhibitions entitled “Lisson Presents…” debuting the work of emerging artists, once again reaffirming the galleries continued connection to its roots and its devotion to giving true and authentic art a platform to stand on — a rare feat perpetuated over fifty years by the Lisson Gallery.
Words by Hannah Tan