"A vital strand of artistic diversity and free-thinking in an art-world increasingly dominated by market forces and curatorial conformity."
The London Group was set up in 1913 by thirty two artists including Robert Bevan, Henri Gaudier Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Lucien Pissarro and Walter Sickert, with the aim of creating a powerful artist-run group to act as a counter-balance to institutions such as the Royal Academy. The founding group created a unique structure for an organisation, that has gone on to successfully nurture the careers of many of Britainís best-known artists.
The London Group is a thriving democratic co-operative of artists practicing in all disciplines, from painting and sculpture to moving image and performance, with a full annual events programme in London and beyond.
The Groupís written constitution requires it "to advance public awareness of contemporary visual art by holding exhibitions annually." Operating in the interstices between existing art institutions, the Groupís focus today is on self-generated exhibitions. Curated and managed by its artist members, these events aim to offer a serious and alternative perspective to contemporary visual arts in Britain.
"What The London Group seeks to show is that art's inner strength (and thus its outer weakness) lies in the co-operative multiplication of differences." Mike Phillipson, The London Group
The London Group holds a prestigious biennial Open Exhibition where artists, at all stages of their careers, are invited to submit work to exhibit alongside membersí, with at least half the exhibitors being non-members.
Membership currently stands at just under ninety and criteria for membership are the quality of a maker's emerging vision and commitment to the Group's activities. As a co-operative the Group finds its strength in its encouragement of diversity. Indeed the Group's very identity and long-term viability is vested in its embrace of the differences of vision displayed in its members' work.
Existing members are eligible to nominate new members for election based on submission of their current work. The membership selection committee sits once a year.
The London Group currently holds many of its events at The Cello Factory, Waterloo, London.