On 1st April, the Saatchi Gallery will open Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America. Taking its title from the prehistoric landmass that conjoined Africa and America, this major survey reunites the two former sister continents by bringing together the work of 16 of their contemporary artists.
The exhibition celebrates and explores the parallels between their distinctly diverse cultures and creative practices, as they begin to receive recognition in the increasingly globalised art world.
In Europe and the USA, art has typically advanced through a constant renewal of innovative ideas and movements. We are now experiencing an important global shift as artists seek to explore new art in regions outside their immediate geographical and historic context for inspiration.
The desire by artists and their audiences to discover fresh influences from a broader body of work has inspired the recent preoccupation of museums to broaden their Eurocentric collections.
Against this backdrop, the artists in Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America, respond to present day complexities in diverse and innovative ways. Years of colonial rule, rapid urban expansion, migration and political and economic unrest remain subjects for many of the artists whose reflections on the richness of their environment translate into an intense visual experience.
Rafael Gómezbarros’ Casa Tomada has taken over the facade of numerous national monuments. The giant ants address issues of diaspora and internal displacement suffered in Colombia for several decades due to the armed conflict wreaking havoc on the country.
Antonio Malta Campos’ bold paintings emerge from a single pattern that organically grows over time and gives way to recognisable forms and a perceived narrative.
Vincent Michea’s bold paintings are inspired by the architecture and population of his hometown Dakar, Senegal’s largest city with a constantly changing landscape.
Aboudia’s vast canvases are occupied by a multitude of characters displaying menacing weapons, and are a record of the sudden escalation of violence following electoral chaos in the city of Abidjan in 2011.
While a few artists from Africa and Latin America have gained international acclaim, a vast number remain relatively unknown. The full scope of work on display in this exhibition, which includes new painting, photography, installation and sculpture, encapsulates this sense of diversity – a bubbling energy surfacing in the two great continents that were once Pangaea.
Duke Of York's HQ, King's Road
London SW3 4RY United Kingdom
Ph. +44 (0)20 78232363
Daily from 10am to 6pm
- Antonio Malta Campos, Figures in Red, 2004, Oil on canvas, 230 x 360 cm, © Antonio Malta Campos, 2004, Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
- Vincent Michea, Before the Bigger Splash, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 130 cm, © Vincent Michea, 2012. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London
- Rafael Gómezbarros, Casa Tomada, 2013, Resin, Fiber Glass, Madera, Screen Cotton, Cuerda Arenas, Cerrejón Coal. Body: 50 x 20 x 50; Legs 90 x 50 cm, © Rafael Gómezbarros, 2013. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London