The .insofar art gallery is thrilled to announce “O Sistema”, a solo exhibition by the young and fruitful Angolan artist Cristiano Mangovo. Its opening on the 4th of February from 4-9pm coincides with Angola’s Liberation Movement Day.
Curated by the Canadian Katherine Sirois, the exhibition reveals a group of previously unseen pieces that address complex socio-political issues such as hierarchies, the deep-rooted and widespread mind-set of division and opposition, conflicts of interests or the exercise of power, its conquest and preservation at all costs.
Echoing a common expression in Angola, the exhibition’s title infuses Mangovo’s body of works with a lighthearted touch of political philosophy. The reference to the popular expression widely used to qualify anything that is dysfunctional, inefficient, fraudulent, inadequate or unfair highlights the questioning that haunts the large-format works on the elusive and intangible nature of “the system”.
Without pretending to tackle the profound nature of such a system of power, whose magnetism and dynamics are capable of corroding any high spirit, the exhibition aims to question and stimulate reflection on imperialism, rivalries and power games between individuals, tribes, regions, countries, genders or between states and their populations.
Born in Angola in 1982, Cristiano Mangovo currently lives and works in Lisbon. As a native of Cabinda, his vision, imagination and references are rooted in the rich and complex multi-layered socio- cultural landscape of this region. His artistic abilities and early interest in drawing led him to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Kinshasa. One of the most prolific among the painters of the Angolan post-war generation, Mangovo has developed a unique, profound, exuberant and mature style, which could be defined as Figurative Expressionism.
Driven by a keen sense of observation and a sharp critical spirit, Mangovo’s artistic signature features energetic creative impetus, strong visual rhythms, bold colours and contrasts, uninhibited organic moving forms and off-beat distorted body depictions. Focusing on complex topics through a peculiar satirical lens, his innovative approach, with the use of typologies and archetypal symbols and his attention to issues such as injustice, inequity, poverty and ecocide, goes beyond local specificities to achieve a universal dimension. His work is part of several art collections such as AFRICANA Art Foundation (Switzerland), Centro Cultural Brasil (Angola), Dâr-al-Makhzen (Morocco), Fondation Gandur pour l’Art (Switzerland), Fundo das Nações Unidas para a População (RDC), Lycée Français A.E.F.L. (Angola) and Museu da Presidência da República Portuguesa (Portugal). Recent highlights include the Black Rock Senegal Artists-in-Residence, Lusofonia Awards 2021 in visual arts and the upcoming Kinshasa Biennale. Currently, Mangovo is represented by .insofar art gallery.
Curated by Katherine Sirois. Lisbon-based Canadian art historian, freelance author and co-curator of the contemporary arts e-magazine Wrong Wrong. As a fellow of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, she earned her diplomas in Art History Studies from the Université du Québec in Montreal. Teaching and research assistant at UQÀM, namely for the federal project “The Self and the Other” on “Issues of Identity Definitions in Contemporary Aboriginal Arts”, she moved to Europe for doctoral studies in Aesthetics (EHESS, Paris, Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne). She is currently associated to the Institute of 2/4 History of Arts of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She authored essays and exhibition catalogues texts on contemporary arts and most recently curated “Fukuko Ando: Weaving (the) Cosmos” at the Museu da Fundação do Oriente in Lisbon and co-curated the exhibition Faces. Belting’s Variations at Museu Berardo.