Wednesday 17 October 2012

Temple of the Occult @ Norman Rea Gallery, York

Temple of the Occult


Preview: 15th October (7-9pm)

15th- 27th October
Open Weekdays from 9am - 5pm, Weekend viewings by appointment

 Temple of the Occult is an installation type curatorial project which aims to explore artwork inspired by occult traditions. The exhibition takes the form of the interior of an imagined temple, becoming an installation made from the work of many artists. The exhibition itself is also a functioning shrine, containing religious truths concealed within its composition. In the Temple of the Occult these veiled truths start to bleed into the fabric of contemporary culture, albeit clothed in allegory and disguised by symbol.
Of great historical significance is the artist Austin Osman Spare, represented in this exhibition by a print of Stele of the Zos Kia Cultus. Spare was an extremely prolific artist, occultist, and writer of the mid 20th Century whose work (pictured left), is of essential significance to contemporary Occultism. Spare’s Zos Kia Cultus was a personal magico-religious philosophy which he devoted his life to developing.

Hector de Gregorio, a contemporary occult artist currently attracting considerable attention, is also represented in the Temple. De Gregorio weaves together themes of piety and cruelty to create images saturated with an intoxicating religious darkness. De Gregorio’s prints reflect the dutiful study of Renaissance religious painting, with photographic collage providing a contemporary reinvigoration to a tradition of which painting was previously the sole preserve. His subjects are often the suffering bodies of extreme performance artists such as Franko B and Lee Adams. These sinister and mysterious contemporary figures flesh out De Gregorio’s archetypal depictions, embodying characters from the mythology of various traditions.

Temple of the Occult draws together occult artists from a various sources, several found through secretive occult Orders, others from their practice and involvement in contemporary exhibitions and events. Most of the artists in this exhibition are practising occultists, some of whom occupy leading positions in their respective Orders and have been initiated into the higher mysteries of their organisations.

Temple of the Occult runs from 15th to 27th October at The Norman Rea Gallery in York University. It is curated by Robin Spalding, a London based installation artist who has previously made similar installation type projects for Shunt and The Institute of Contemporary Art (London). For press inquiries please contact Robin Spalding at

[1] Robin Spalding, Deliverance: Arrival at the Temple of Penance, giclee print on board, 30 x 42cm
[2] Austin Osman Spare, The Stele of the Zos Kia Cultus, giclee print on paper, kindly donated by Robert Ansell of Fulgur Esoterica
[3] Hector de Gregorio, Crux, giclee print hand finished by the artist!__temple-of-the-occult

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