Maureen Paley: A Pioneer for London East End Art

Maureen Paley shot by Ana Cuba for Apartamento #20, 2017

Maureen Paley shot by Ana Cuba for Apartamento #20, 2017

American-born Maureen Paley moved to London in 1977, where the aim at the time was to gain an MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art. Shortly after, she decided showcasing art was going to become her path and so, in 1984, she opened Interim Art.

The gallery was the first exhibition space in the scruffy area of Bethnal Green, in East London. It didn't take a long time for the gallery to showcase some of the artists that would become those who are known today as the YBAs - including Henry Bond, Angela Bulloch and Liam Gillick. The gallerist later developed the careers of Gillian Wearing and Wolfgang Tillmans. 

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I kept going back and forth to New York in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and remember in about 1982 being intrigued by a number of new galleries that had opened in New York’s East Village and Lower East Side. Nature Morte, International With Monument, Pat Hearn [...] and I thought it might be an idea to bring some of that energy back to London.
— Maureen Paley for Apartamento magazine issue #20
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I set up what was meant to be a temporary project space, but I was immediately international in outlook and attracted attention. [I showed] an interesting mixture of artists that were largely unknown at the time, but now are quite established. I showed Fischli & Weiss, Charles Ray, Mike Kelley, Christian Marclay, Georg Herold [...] I began showing Wolgfang Tillmans and Gillian Wearing in 1993 and Rebecca Warren in 2001, and I represent them to this day
— Maureen Paley for Apartamento magazine issue #20
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Since its beginning in Maureen's Victorian terraced house, the gallery changed its name in 2004 to Maureen Paley in celebration of its 20th anniversary. From its very first opening the gallery’s aim has remained consistent: to promote great and innovative artists from all over the world.