Atlantico: Angola and São Tomé & Príncipe Contemporary

Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
22 Jan 2020 - 21 Feb 2020

Atlantico: Angola and São Tomé & Príncipe Contemporary

Atlantico: Angola and São Tomé & Príncipe Contemporary

Circle Art Gallery announces for the first time an exhibition in Kenya of 11 Angolan Artists and 1 Artist from São Tomé & Príncipe in the collective exhibition  ATLANTICO: ANGOLA AND SÃO TOMÉ & PRÍNCIPE CONTEMPORARY organized by Angolan art space ELA – Espaço Luanda Arte in partnership with Circle Art Gallery.

As stated by the exhibition´s curator Dominick A Maia Tanner: “Even though the 27- year-long civil war in Angola ended in 2002, society has remained forever changed by the conflict. Despite moments of hope with strong presences in the Johannesburg Biennial in 1995, the Havana Biennial in 1997, and the Venice Biennials in 2013, 2015 and 2017, (even winning the Golden Lion in 2013), Angolan art and culture has been largely unexplored historically and remains fairly misinterpreted to this day, not only in the West but also in Africa. Within the continent this may be because of the Anglo, Franco and Lusophone language divide and also the lack of collaborations between art institutions in the 54 countries.

This invitational at Circle Art is a good example of the immense need and potential to bridge that divide within the continent, to create dialogue between East and West African artists, publics, academics and critics, whilst intensifying the ´South-South´ narrative. Circle´s first exhibition for 2020 is a group show featuring 11 artists from Angola and 1 from São Tomé & Príncipe; a combination of established masters and emerging artists living in Angola and the diaspora. The term ATLANTICO is purposefully chosen to show a cross-section of artists whose inspiration (even if they live in the diaspora) is Angola and São Tomé & Príncipe.

ATLANTICO presents a cross-section of the varied practices developing in contemporary art from this geographical region of Atlantic Africa. All the works embrace fiction and non-fiction; incorporating personal, political, economic, cultural and mythological themes. Never has the Atlantic Ocean been so important to encourage new questions and debates so that the many threads of the Atlantic coast of Africa – which through slavery have established a bridge between Angola, as part of the Congo and São Tomé and Príncipe on one side and Brazil and the USA on the other. This exhibition helps us to compare and contrast the realities of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.”

“Every year we host an exhibition that focuses on another African country.” says Director Danda Jaroljmek of Circle Art Gallery, “so far we have held exhibitions of art from Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Kampala and Harare. A many of our artists and some of our audience do not have the opportunity to travel to these countries, we bring an overview of the art scene to give them a more pan-African perspective”.


The exhibition runs until the 21st February.


Circle Art Gallery was founded in 2012, is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and promotes Contemporary East African art.




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