Discovering Pangaean Art
Where is Pangaea? Actually it covers the combined area of South America and Africa during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, forming approximately 300 million years ago. The new exhibition showing contemporary art from South America and Africa at the Saatchi gallery is named after it.
The exhibition showcases all familiar qualities of a great Saatchi show: drama, scale, presence, surprise and materiality. The overarching mood is strength of spirit, despite of darkness of the subject matter. The largest work is by Ibrahim Mahama from Ghana. He has covered the walls of one of the galleries completely with draped jute sacks. It sounds very simple technique, but the mood the installation creates is dramatically dark.
Ibrahim Mahama denudes the transits and ownerships of jute sacks along their lives as porters of goods, rendering visible the mechanisms of trade which define the world’s economy.
From all new art markets African contemporary art is propably the most sought after. One of the most critically acclaimed work at the exhibition is from Aboudia, Ivory Coast. His method of collaging is very unique and relevant for the times. Collaging has been very popular method in recent years, but Aboudia has developed his own layering style using mixed media to express very difficult subject matter. He has even been compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat, due to similar kind of story from rags to riches.
If you missed the New Order II: British Art Now upstairs galleries have still some of the work on show. The sculptors from Virgile Ittah works reflect her long family history of exile and constant wandering.