ANDREW GILBERT: Trophies of the Savages – Idols of Civilisation & CINGA SAMSON: Thirty Pieces of Silver

blank projects, Cape Town, South Africa
30 Jul 2015 - 29 Aug 2015

ANDREW GILBERT: Trophies of the Savages – Idols of Civilisation & CINGA SAMSON: Thirty Pieces of Silver

Andrew Gilbert, Shaka at work in his studio (2015) | Fineliner, acrylic and watercolour on paper, 63 x 48.5 cm

blank projects presents two solo exhibitions by Andrew Gilbert and Cinga Samson.

For Trophies of the Savages – Idols of Civilisation,  his first solo show in South Africa and second exhibition at blank projects, Andrew Gilbert will show drawings made during his stay in South Africa in 2014, and subsequently in Berlin. Presented together with sculpture and installation that reference the Colonial Exhibitions of the 19th century, these drawings combine Military History with the subject of Primitivism in Modern Art and European representations of the exotic.

In Thirty Pieces of Silver, Cinga Samson presents new works that address themes of masculinity, spirituality and race against the backdrop of Post-colonialism. Painting personal visions together with imagery culled and pieced together from art history books, his style more reminiscent of formal traditions of European art than it is of contemporary (South African) painting

Borne out of very different contexts, the works of Gilbert and Samson intersect in multiple and surprising ways. Gilbert’s bright palette and faux-naive caricatures, usually associated with so-called primitivism and African art, contrast sharply with Samson’s cool and disciplined aesthetic. Both Gilbert and Samson are grappling with the fallout from the colonial project in South Africa, but while Gilbert has a no holds barred approach to his subject matter – evoking the savagery of colonial occupation with grotesquely violent imagery – the violence in Samson’s paintings is only subtly implicated through his appropriation of definitively European visual languages, and the Biblical references to corruption and betrayal that make up his titles.


Opening Thursday, 30 July 2015, 18:00


Andrew Gilbert (b1980, Edinburgh) has lived and worked in Berlin since 2002, prior to which he obtained his MA Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art. Gilbert, who works predominantly in mixed media drawing and sculpture, has held numerous solo exhibitions and group shows across Europe and in Tokyo and New York. Solo exhibitions include Je suis . . . Broccoli! (Jagla, Cologne); Sacred Soil and Bloody Ground (Galerie Kai Erdmann, Hamburg) and The Glorious Return of Emperor Andrew (Summerhall, Edinburgh). Following Trophies of the Savages – Idols of Civilization, his second exhibition at blank projects, Gilbert’s work will be included in Artist and Empire at Tate Britain, opening in November.

Cinga Samson (b1986, Cape Town) is a painter based in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Samson has participated in several group shows, including In the night I remember curated by Kabelo Malatsie (Stevenson, Johannesburg); Our Fathers curated by Kirsty Cockerill and Chantal Louw (AVA Gallery, Cape Town) and Strata at Greatmore Studios, where he completed a residency in 2011. His first solo exhibition, Rusting Iron, was held at the AVA Gallery in Cape Town, 2011. Thirty Pieces of Silver will be Samson’s first exhibition at blank projects, and his largest solo show to date.


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