Sunday, 15 June 2014

Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America

Highly recommend this exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. In my opinion it is their strongest since the survey of artists who work in Paper last year. It is an interesting selection of artists from the diaspora who have produced some great work. The curators have done a good job with their selection as I thought it was a strong cohesive show. Highlights were:-

Rafael Gomezbarros. I was absolutely stunned by  Gomezbarros' installation which appropriately was situated in the first gallery of this exhibition. This gallery consisted of a room of ants invading the walls and clustering in corners of the exhibition space. It was interesting to see that on closer inspection the "ants" consisted of 2 skulls roughly fused together, with twigs for legs. They certainly made an impact on the gallery space and more so when you see another installations that they have previously been employed in below.

This picture where they featured on the facade of the Congress building in Bogota, is like something out of a 1950s B-movie.

Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou. Interesting art historical links with the work of this photographer and the work of Modigliani, and Picasso's Demoiselles D'Avignon. I like the traditional African masks contrasted against the colonial building. These pictures have a really ghostly/alien feel.

Dillon Marsh is a photographer who captures natural 'sculptures' created by birds in nature when making their nests on telephone poles. They make such interesting shapes resembling bodies or items of clothes hanging from their hangers. The sparse landscapes add to the strangeness of the imagery.

Antonio Malta Campos has some large beautiful paintings in the exhibition. I like the scale of his work, his sense of colour, as well as the textures of the paint. Could happily live with one of these.

Mario Macilau is a documentary photographer whose work is visually strong and interesting. These images are taken from his Zionist series and capture elements of religious rituals in his native Mozambique. They evoke a strong sense of spirituality.

Vincent Michea is influenced by Pop Art and the work of Roy Lichtenstein in his use of the Ben-Day dot technique, but adds enough of his own ideas to create something different that still pay homage to popular culture.

Oscar Murillo. I really enjoyed the sense of scale and freedom in the abstract mark-making in Murillo's work.

Ibrahim Mahama has created a beautiful installation in one of the galleries with these rough jute sacks that line the walls. Lots of tactile textures that bring to mind the wrappings of Christo.

Highly recommended!

Panagaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America
Until 2nd November
Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York's HQ
King's Road