Home » FEATURES » Currently Reading:

GO SEE: Nicola Tyson Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978 at Sadie Coles

January 29, 2013 FEATURES No Comments

20130129 101434 GO SEE: Nicola Tyson Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978 at Sadie Coles
Julia Fodor (Princess Julia) and George O’ Dowd (Boy George) 1978

20130129 101321 GO SEE: Nicola Tyson Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978 at Sadie Coles
Martin Degville (Sigue Sigue Sputnik) 1978

20130129 101224 GO SEE: Nicola Tyson Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978 at Sadie Coles
Unknown and Siobhan Fahey 1978

20130129 101121 GO SEE: Nicola Tyson Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978 at Sadie Coles
Unknown and Steve Strange 1978

20130129 100941 GO SEE: Nicola Tyson Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978 at Sadie Coles
George O’Dowd ( Boy George) and Patti Bell 1978

20130129 100810 GO SEE: Nicola Tyson Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978 at Sadie Coles
Unknown and Steve Strange 1978

Through to 23rd February 2013 Sadie Coles HQ 9 Balfour Mews, London W1

By 1978 a new scene was needed to fill the vacuum left after Punk went mainstream – and “Bowie Night” was a start. Roxy Music and David Bowie had influenced the darkly flamboyant aspects of the London punk scene, and so in opposition to the dumb monochrome cynicism of mainstream Punk, each Tuesday anything went at Billy’s, the more theatrical the better.

Nicola Tyson, 2012.

In January and February 2012, Sadie Coles HQ presents Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978, an archive of photographs by British artist Nicola Tyson documenting the London club scene of the late 1970s. First shown at White Columns in New York last year, the images are presented as ten giant ‘contact sheets’ digitally scanned from the original negatives, alongside a selection of larger single-frame prints.

Taken in the autumn of 1978 while Tyson was an eighteen-year-old student at Chelsea College of Art, the images capture the earliest genesis of the New Romantic scene that was to define the decade ahead. They form a record that is at once autobiographical and social, beginning with shots from a family holiday and bearing witness to Tyson’s immersion in the scene revolving around Billy’s Club on Dean Street.

Billy’s was one of the first generation of ‘out’ gay clubs in Soho and ‘Bowie Nights’, hosted by DJ Rusty Egan and Steve Strange, was a legendary Tuesday-night fixture of glam and androgyny and outrageous costume. It was frequented by a teenaged George O’Dowd (Boy George) complete with pompadour haircut and baggy dungarees, Peter Robinson (Marylin) with Jordan ‘hairdo’, Jeremy Healy, Phillip Sallon, and Princess Julia (who remembers Billy’s as “a kind of seedy place”), Simon Le Bon, Siobhan Fahey and various other soon-to-be icons of the 1980s .

Accompanied by original flyers and newspaper cuttings, the photographs offer an evocative glimpse of a fleeting moment in the history of the British underground. The Time Out critic Joseph R. Wolin has aptly commented that these photographs’ “prescience imbues our looking with a doubled nostalgia: for the pop stars we once loved, and for who they were before we loved them.”
In line with other recent reappraisals of the culture of the British underground scene (most recently an exhibition of drawings by doomed club kid Trojan at the ICA), Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club, London, 1978 forms a revealing portrait a half-forgotten milieu that presaged the cultural trends of the following decades.

www.sadiecoles.com

About The Artist
Nicola Tyson (b. 1960) moved to New York in 1990 where she continues to live and work. Her art has been exhibited internationally since the early 1990s, with solo exhibitions at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; Sadie Coles HQ, London; and Kunsthalle Zurich, Switerland. Her work is held in various prestigious public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and Tate Gallery, London. On Friday 01 February, Nicola Tyson will be in conversation with Michael Bracewell at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London as part of their Culture Now series of lunchtime talks.

FAD NEWS

REVIEW: Rearranging the Career of Bita Fayyazi

October 25, 2014

REVIEW: Rearranging the Career of Bita Fayyazi

Bita Fayyazi’s work is disquieting; massive cockroaches swarm and inelegant thread bound heads jut from walls, smashed figures squat on low podiums and terracotta dead dogs lie on piles of dirt. Yet, almost against aesthetic reason, the pieces are utterly compelling. Her third solo outing at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde is a reinterpretation of her [...]

NX-Perspectives: Sharp New Digital Art inspired by the provocative new Lexus NX

October 23, 2014

NX-Perspectives: Sharp New Digital Art inspired by the provocative new Lexus NX

As regular readers know, FAD loves digital art, so we’re delighted to have encountered an innovative global project from Lexus called NX-Perspectives.

ARTNEWS:The Mexican Embassy And Jose Cuervo Partner To Lead ‘Day Of The Dead’ Celebrations In London

October 22, 2014

ARTNEWS:The Mexican Embassy And Jose Cuervo Partner To Lead ‘Day Of The Dead’ Celebrations In London

Jose Cuervo, the oldest tequila brand in the world partners with the Mexican Embassy to bring an art-led Day of The Dead festival to London

ART NEWS: London gallery to give away all its Art for FREE

October 22, 2014

ART NEWS: London gallery to give away all its Art for FREE

In a world first an art gallery in central London will be giving away every single one of its exhibits to passers-by (for free!) this Friday

ART NEWS: Legendary Magnum Photographer René Burri Dies at 81

October 22, 2014

ART NEWS: Legendary Magnum Photographer René Burri Dies at 81

Leaving behind a significant body of work, FAD takes a moment to remember legendary photographer René Burri

ART NEWS : “The Theory of Everything” brings NYC to Tears

October 22, 2014

ART NEWS : “The Theory of Everything” brings NYC to Tears

Stephen Hawking biopic, “The Theory of Everything” made it’s U.S. premiere at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City Monday night. The film, starring Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking & Felicity Jones as Hawking’s wife Jane, was said to leave its audience in tears as film industry darlings gathered to watch the films debut.

Don’t Miss: NON ZERO ONE as part of WHAT MARCEL DUCHAMP TAUGHT ME @FASLondon

October 21, 2014

Don’t Miss: NON ZERO ONE as part of WHAT MARCEL DUCHAMP TAUGHT ME @FASLondon

Taking you on a 22 minute headphone journey throughout the entire 5 floors of the UK’s oldest commercial dealership..

FAD DAILY

FAD DAILY

Want brilliant, exciting and interesting art and culture news in your inbox every day? Course you do. Sign up to our newsletter below.

ADVERTISING