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David Franchi – Saturday, 11th April 2015.
It is an attractive exhibition “Pangaea II” at the Saatchi Gallery in London.
The exhibition “Pangaea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America” displays the work of 19 emerging artists. It gives a contemporary, updated and extensive feedback of the production the artists, which have been made in the difficulty of their own homelands.
The exhibition “Pangaea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America” is for the Saatchi Gallery the second chapter of a search on the two former sister continents.
In paleogeography, Pangea, or Pangaea, (from the ancient Greek ‘everything’, and, ‘earth’, that ‘the whole earth’) was the supercontinent that is believed to include all the land mass of the Earth during the Palaeozoic and the first Mesozoic.
The name ‘Pangea’ was given in 1915 by Alfred Wegener, following the formulation of the theory of Continental Drift. The continents forming Pangaea get divided about 180 million years ago, due to the process of plate tectonics, resulting in two supercontinents: Laurasia (northern supercontinent) and Gondwana (southern supercontinent).
Including sculpture, painting, installation and photography, “Pangaea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America” is focused on the diverse cultural influences and thriving creative practices in the two great continents – once conjoined as the prehistoric landmass of Pangaea.
Of the two distinctive regions, these artists are witnesses to the transformation of the societies they live. These areas are more and more organised around the big cities which are experiencing massive alterations at a speed never seen before. For their work, they use a hybrid of both traditional and contemporary techniques and materials, mirroring the social and political issues faced in this moment of fast urban and economic development.
The artists feature different levels; some still need to refine their expressive dimension. However, some of the 19 displayed artists show remarkable potential. For example, Jean – François Boclè with his ‘Tout doit disparaitre / Everything must go’ (2014), an installation made of 97.000 blue plastic bags filling the entire first room of the Saatchi Gallery. Diego Mendoza Imbachi presents large canvasses of graphite and binder ‘The Poetic of Reflection’ (2014) inspired by Chinese/ Japanese printings. A bit scaring, but out of the ordinary, is the series of woodcut and mixed media of Efrem Solomon. A fascinating use of colours have the more figurative portraits – of people from the back – by Dawit Abebe, and also the ones of Boris Nzebo, together with abstract paintings of Alejandor Ospina.
“Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America” also features work by Aboudia, Eduardo Berliner, Armand Boua, Pia Camil, Alida Cervantes, Virginia Chihota, Alexandre da Cunha, Federico Herrero, Eddy Ilunga Kamuanga, Hamid El Kanbouhi, Jorge Mayet, Ibrahim Mahama, and Mikhael Subotzky.
The exhibition “Pangaea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America” is at the Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, London, from 11th March until 6th September 2015.