Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America

Art, Mixed media Free
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Aboudia ('Djoly du Mogoba' 2011)
'Djoly du Mogoba' 2011

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

Aboudia ('Daloa 29', 2011)
'Daloa 29', 2011

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

David Koloane ('Diskiology II', 2010)
'Diskiology II', 2010

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

José Lerma ('Samuel Bernard', 2010)
'Samuel Bernard', 2010

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou ('Untitled (Demoiselles de Porto Novo series)' 2012)
'Untitled (Demoiselles de Porto Novo series)' 2012

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

Boris Nzebo ('Madame Trottoir', 2009)
'Madame Trottoir', 2009

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

Rafael Gómezbarros ('Casa Tomada' 2013)
'Casa Tomada' 2013

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

Oscar Murillo ('Untitled' 2011)
'Untitled' 2011

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

Oscar Murillo ('I’d take you there but it doesn ’t exist anymore' 2010-11)
'I’d take you there but it doesn ’t exist anymore' 2010-11

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

Oscar Murillo ('Dark Americano', 2012)
'Dark Americano', 2012

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery

Ibrahim Mahama ('Untitled', 2013)
'Untitled', 2013

© the artist/Saatchi Gallery. Photo: © Sam Drake, 2014

Charles Saatchi - early patron of Damien Hirst and the YBA's - is at it again nurturing fresh talent. This time he's turned his sights towards Africa and Latin America, to find stunning colourful paintings by Boris Nzebo and creepy-crawly sculptures by Rafael Gómezbarros.



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The first room at Pangaea is so blindingly fresh and exciting as to make it hard for the rest to compete. Rafael Gómezbarros’ Casa Tomada (‘house taken over’) sees a colony of giant ants invading the gallery space, marching across the walls and ceiling. They’re already a bit sinister before you read the guide and realise the artist has fashioned the bodies from casts of human skulls. 

While nothing else quite compares, there are plenty of other excellent pieces in the show. Mário Macilau’s powerful images of poverty and hardship are striking in their beauty and simplicity. Vincent Michea’s stylised graphic paintings, drawing on Roy Lichtenstein for influence, show Dakar’s glamorous past. And Boris Nzebo’s multi-layered collages distill the colour and dynamism of West African urban life into pictorial form. 

It’s not all great. Oscar Murillo’s collage of found objects probably looks very much as it did when he first found the component parts (a pile of rubbish). Similarly, Christian Rosa’s mixed-media pieces are pretty tedious. But the good definitely outweighs the bad, and some of it is very good indeed.

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