For more than fifty years this notorious Soho drinking den attracted some of the most important names in British art, from Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud to Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.
The exhibition will feature works by Bacon, Freud, Hirst and Emin, along with pieces by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Sir Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, Frank Auerbach, Keith Coventry and Langlands and Bell, and many other key modern and contemporary British artists.
Sarah Lucas has created a sculpture especially for the show, which will also feature four portraits by Maggi Hambling, including on of the club’s last proprietor, the late Michael Wojas, and the artist, dandy and writer Sebastian Horsley.
Curated by the artist and author Darren Coffield, the exhibition will feature works by artists dating from 1948 up to when it closed in 2008 and comes a few months after his highly-acclaimed book about the club, Tales from the Colony Room: Soho’s Lost Bohemia.
The Colony Room Club
The Colony Room, formerly located at 41 Dean Street, Soho, was founded in 1948 by Muriel Belcher. It quickly became a haven for artists, poets, radicals and free thinkers. The club attracted Soho’s artistic elite, including Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, George Melly and Jeffrey Bernard, as well as people from aristocratic and political circles such as Princess Margaret, William Burroughs, David Bowie and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Bacon was a founder and lifelong member who helped to get rich patrons up its notoriously filthy stairs and into the room’s iconic green walls.
After Belcher’s death in 1979, the club continued under the stewardship of her long-term barman Ian Board until his death in 1994. Throughout the 1990’s the club experienced a renaissance when the so-called YBAs (Young British Artists) including Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin began frequenting the club. The Colony Room closed in 2008.
Please note: this exhibition is by appointment only.