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Open Gallery


Open gallery is a contemporary art gallery and private collection devoted to Video Painting, a new form of video art pioneered by artist and philosopher Hilary Lawson.


Founded in 2006 by a collective of artists, for the last decade the gallery has promoted the video painting project, commissioning new works, supporting and encouraging a critical discourse around the new medium and showcasing its extensive collection nationally and internationally.


Selected exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Arts (2006), Sketch Gallery (2007), The Hayward Gallery (2007), Crunch (2008), Shunt (2009), HowTheLightGetsIn (2009-16), The Miami Ice Palace (2009), The Square Gallery (2010), The Hospital Club (2010) Brighton Digital Festival (2015), Digital Shoreditch (2015), The London Art Fair (2016).





The philosophy of Video Painting


Open Gallery began as a collective; as a group of core artist members who wanted to challenge their practice as artist-filmmakers and the way that video artworks were commonly experienced.


At the heart of their work was a philosophy based on the principles explored by Open Gallery’s founder Hilary Lawson in his book ‘Closure,’ published in 2001. ‘Closure’ presented the idea that the world is open and we close that openness with thought and language.


United by the ambition to retain as much openness in their work as possible, Sanchita Islam, William Raban, Isabelle Inghilleri, Nina Danino and Tina Keane came together to define the principles that we today call Video painting.


The camera is stationary. There can be no subsequent editing or manipulation of the image and there is no dialogue or sound to enforce meaning,


From the beginning, the group sought to create single artworks that were formed into series of video paintings. Computer scientist, William Sowerbutts was able to develop this format by building a bespoke computer system named The Laluna. This unique technology allowed the artists to play their work in non-sequential and an ever-evolving order. Thus, they could break free from the usual limitation of a repetitive loop.


Since its conception is 2005, Open Gallery has collaborated with an ever-widening pool of artists and found a home for its work within a multitude of venues. The gallery gained recognition from leading art galleries and has presented exhibitions and debates at the ICA and the Hayward Gallery. Open Gallery is also behind the prestigious ‘Open Prize’ whose winners have gone on to reach international acclaim.


Open Gallery’s mission has always been to lead the way in integrating Video Painting artworks into the wider world. Our installations have become a beloved feature within a diverse range of environments; enlivening hospitals, hotels, restaurants, offices, banks, residential properties and even swimming pools.


To find out more about Open Gallery’s philosophy you can access our back catalogue of publications here.