Angela Flowers at 80

In celebration of her 80th birthday, Flowers Gallery is putting on a magnificent exhibition for one of the most influential and renowned contemporary art dealers in the UK.
Angela Flowers, who set up her first gallery in the most modest and interesting of settings 40 years ago – in an attic space above a leftwing co-op – has gone on to create a successful business with serious clout.
The art dealer now has three major galleries, including Shoreditch and Mayfair (both in London) and one in Chelsea, New York.
While she might have experienced the turmoil of five recessions, her unique insight into art has ensured that whatever the economic environment, her galleries have had the resolve to always deliver success.
The exhibition, which is simply entitled Angela Flowers at 80, is a sweeping historical show that looks at some of the many artists she has worked with, introduced and championed over the years, such as Anish Kapoor, Anthony Gormley, Ron Mueck, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Tony Cragg, Richard Long, Marc Quinn and Anthony Caro.
“In showing this wide number of artists, practising in varying mediums, Angela will bring together some of the many strands of Flowers’ colourful history,” the curators of the show stated. “The exhibition is both a nod to an exciting past and a reminder that more is yet to come.”
There is a real energy about the show, and it therefore shouldn’t be seen as being just a retrospective: it is also a statement of optimism and vitality. There is the idea that when one reaches the state retirement age, that’s it, quit what you’re doing and take it easy.
Is that really the dream? For some, yes, but for others, to give up what they are doing is to give up on life. This show is all about memory, but of a life that has been productive, which in turn is inspiring.
Age doesn’t have to be about diminishing skills. When you’re such a person as Angela, who, for example, was one of the first to show Lucien Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, or an early champion of the internet in relation to art, it’s about drive, about constantly being at the cutting-edge.
Therefore, Angela at 80 is about an Angela that is still at the top of her game, as this wonderful exhibition reveals.
Angela Flowers at 80 at the Flowers Gallery in London runs until February 9th 2013.
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