This Spring the Saatchi Gallery seeks out treasure from Africa and Latin America. Pangaea - taking its name from the 300 million year old proto-landmass that comprised the whole of the world as we know it - is a group exhibition reuniting the sister continents that sat like jigsaw pieces at its heart.
Featuring 16 contemporary artists working across Africa and South America, this is an intriguing glimpse into the echoes of colonial rule, political unrest, racial tensions, and fever-pitch urban expansion prevalent in both continents. It offers plenty for the eyes – and mind – to soak up.
One of the undoubted stars of the show is Rafael Gómezbarros’s Casa Tomada. The Colombian-born artist is known for his creepily resonant political works, and this offering (whose title translates as ‘House Taken’) does not disappoint. A series of colossal resin and fibreglass ants, sculpted from the casts of two human skulls, scuttle across a wall in an imaginative take on the diaspora of the South American poor as a consequence of war and industrial globalisation. Each ant is 2ft long and modelled on the hormigas culonas genus, sold seasonally as a delicacy by Colombian peasants. They’ve so far been unleashed on capitol buildings across Bogota. And they don’t half make your skin crawl.
Culture Whisper and Frieze London 2013 favourite Oscar Murillo is a must-see, as are Boris Nzebo’s eye-popping untitled works drawing on the murals and graffiti of his hometown of Douala, Cameroon. Portraits of local residents, with beautifully detailed hair and weaves, are layered in vibrant colour onto snapshots of street scenes. Works such as Auburge du Boulot Noir owe a great deal to painted haircut signs found outside Cameroon's barbershops.
A bold premise, and a thrilling showcase of the most fascinating and fiercely political art these continents have to offer.
|What||Pangaea, Saatchi Gallery|
|Where||Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London, SW3 4RY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
02 Apr 14 – 31 Aug 14, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|