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Pangaea: Africa and Latin America new art, at the Saatchi Gallery, London.
Thursday, 26th June 2014
On the last 1st April, the Saatchi Gallery opened the exhibition Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America. Taking its title from the prehistoric landmass that conjoined Africa and Latin 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.
Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America features work by Aboudia, Leonce Agbodjélou, Fredy Alzate, Antonio Malta Campos, Rafael Gómezbarros, David Koloane, José Lerma, Mário Macilau, Ibrahim Mahama, Dillon Marsh, Jose Carlos Martinat, Vincent Michea, Oscar Murillo, Alejandra Prieto, Boris Nzebo, Christian Rosa
Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America will run until the 31st August 2014, at the Saatchi Gallery, London.