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Curious Eleni Duke re-launches urban and contemporary gallery

PUBLISHED: 17:28 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:28 10 March 2017

Eleni Duke of Curious Duke Gallery in Whitecross Street

Eleni Duke of Curious Duke Gallery in Whitecross Street

Archant

Only intended to be a short term pop up, its success was such that Duke went on to become a permanent fixture of Whitecross Street

Nuclear Girl, from Steven Quinn's Once Upon a Tomorrow, the opening exhibition at Curious DukeNuclear Girl, from Steven Quinn's Once Upon a Tomorrow, the opening exhibition at Curious Duke

Eleni Duke was the youngest gallerist in London when she opened her gallery in 2011 at the age of 24.

It was only intended to be a short term pop up, but its success was such that Duke went on to become a permanent fixture of Whitecross Street with her “anti-gallery” and only art space in London to speicalise in affordable urban and contemporary artworks.

Now she has re-launched the Curious Duke Gallery with a new space and in house framing company.

As a champion of surreal work, the gallery represents around 100 artists, emerging and established, with varying portfolios.

To celebrate the re-launch, one of these artists, Steven Quinn, is exhibiting a collection of his Once upon a Tomorrow series. Combining cut outs from magazines and historic images, the collage artists and street photographer evokes apocalyptic and humorous representations. His most recent works (including Nuclear Girl, pictured) follow ideas around nuclear, political and intergalactic conflicts.

He says: “Recently, immigration, Trump and privacy have been themes which have influenced me a lot. Most of the time I buy old books and magazines, then spend time breaking and cutting them up roughly, sorting them into subject matter.

“For me, the paper quality is better with old magazines. If you’re lucky, you can score some really old 40s magazines that have been screen printed.” His exhibition runs until April 1.

The new layout of the gallery means that the represented artists can be showcased all year round while solo shows go on in the main gallery.

Following Steven Quinn, Louise McNaught exhibits from April 6 – 29 and Mr Four Fingers from May 4 – 27.

While all of this is going on, the Secret Art Prize is again open to enter to win a solo show at Moniker Art Fair, with curatorial support from both the fair and gallery, representation by Curious Duke and mentoring from Eleni herself, as well as £1,000.

Previous winner Stephen Whatcott says: “One of that hardest things as an artist is trying to get your work seen by the right audience, an audience with an interest in your type of work. There are so many artists out there with arms raised, shouting, trying to be heard.”

He believes the Secret Art Prize gave him a much needed platform and support to grow as an artist.

The competition is open to all urban and contemporary artists, in fields of painting, printmatking, photography, sculpture and drawing and will be judged by a panel that includes Tina Ziegler, director of Moniker Art Fair and Otto D’Ambra, artist and tattoo artist. secretartprize.com.

Curious Duke Gallery, 173 Whitecross Street, EC1Y 8JT, curiousdukegallery.com.


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