• GALLERY 1957

    LONDON & ACCRA

     

    Launched by Marwan Zakhem on Ghana Independence Day, 2016, Gallery 1957 has since expanded across three gallery spaces within Accra, dedicating its programme to spearheading international exchanges between contemporary West African art practices and the rest of the world. Gallery 1957's London space opened in October 2020 and provides a further platform through which to exhibit Gallery 1957 artists working across Africa and the diaspora.

     

  • Gustavo Nazareno (b. 1994), Exu, 2021

     

    Gustavo Nazareno (b. 1994), Exu, 2021

    Oil on canvas
    72 x 58 cm.
    Price: £ 7,500 (plus any applicable taxes)

     

    Gustavo Nazareno (Brazil, b. 1994) was raised in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is now living and practicing in São Paulo. Self-taught, the opportunity to work as an artist appeared in 2018 during his move to São Paulo. His family practices the Afro-Brazilian religion of Umbanda and during a visit to the family ‘terreiro’ - the place where ceremonies are done - he was ordered by the ‘Pai de Santo’ (the spiritual father), to make seven pictures of the male Orixás (deities).

     

    In a prayerful meditative state Gustavo creates the imagery of the deity Exú (Eshu - Yoruba: also spelled, Eshu, Èṣù, and Echú). Rendered as a poetic and lyrical dance, depicting both the light and the shadow of humanity, Exú is the god of multiplicity, constantly shape shifting between man, woman, child, non-binary androgyny, and animal forms.

     

    Gustavo presents Exú as a divine being wearing haute couture clothing, highlighting both the sacred and the profane elements within life’s experiences. With imagery that looks like high fashion photography, but is hand drawn with the artist’s fingertips applying charcoal dust to paper or oil on canvas in a dark studio lit by only candlelight, Gustavo creates a sumptuous visual narrative in black and white that leaves space for those who view the work to enter with their own form of humanity.

     

    Solo exhibitions include: Fables on Exu, Gallery 1957, London, 2021; Bará, Luis Maluf Art Gallery and Histórias sobre Ifá, 358, both held in São Paulo, Brazil in 2019.

     

    Group shows include: Outros Ensaios para o Tempo, Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil, 2021; Collective Reflections: Contemporary African and Diasporic Expressions of a New Vanguard, Accra, Ghana, 2020.

     

  • Gustavo Nazareno, Ajagunã, 2021

     
    Gustavo Nazareno, Ajagunã, 2021
    Oil on canvas
    127 x 104 cm.
    Price: £ 10,000 (plus any applicable taxes)
     
    Gustavo Nazareno (Brazil, b. 1994) was raised in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is now living and practicing in São Paulo. Self-taught, the opportunity to work as an artist appeared in 2018 during his move to São Paulo. His family practices the Afro-Brazilian religion of Umbanda and during a visit to the family ‘terreiro’ - the place where ceremonies are done - he was ordered by the ‘Pai de Santo’ (the spiritual father), to make seven pictures of the male Orixás (deities).
     
    In a prayerful meditative state Gustavo creates the imagery of the deity Exú (Eshu - Yoruba: also spelled, Eshu, Èṣù, and Echú). Rendered as a poetic and lyrical dance, depicting both the light and the shadow of humanity, Exú is the god of multiplicity, constantly shape shifting between man, woman, child, non-binary androgyny, and animal forms.
     
    Gustavo presents Exú as a divine being wearing haute couture clothing, highlighting both the sacred and the profane elements within life’s experiences. With imagery that looks like high fashion photography, but is hand drawn with the artist’s fingertips applying charcoal dust to paper or oil on canvas in a dark studio lit by only candlelight, Gustavo creates a sumptuous visual narrative in black and white that leaves space for those who view the work to enter with their own form of humanity.
    Solo exhibitions include: Fables on Exu, Gallery 1957, London, 2021; Bará, Luis Maluf Art Gallery and Histórias sobre Ifá, 358, both held in São Paulo, Brazil in 2019.
     
    Group shows include: Outros Ensaios para o Tempo, Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil, 2021; Collective Reflections: Contemporary African and Diasporic Expressions of a New Vanguard, Accra, Ghana, 2020.

     

  • A Roman Marble head of Venus, c. 1st-2nd Century AD

     
    Gustavo Nazareno (b. 1994), Ogum, 2021
    Oil on canvas
    92 x 70 cm.
    Price: £ 8,500 (plus any applicable taxes)
     

    Gustavo Nazareno (Brazil, b. 1994) was raised in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is now living and practicing in São Paulo. Self-taught, the opportunity to work as an artist appeared in 2018 during his move to São Paulo. His family practices the Afro-Brazilian religion of Umbanda and during a visit to the family ‘terreiro’ - the place where ceremonies are done - he was ordered by the ‘Pai de Santo’ (the spiritual father), to make seven pictures of the male Orixás (deities).

     

    In a prayerful meditative state Gustavo creates the imagery of the deity Exú (Eshu - Yoruba: also spelled, Eshu, Èṣù, and Echú). Rendered as a poetic and lyrical dance, depicting both the light and the shadow of humanity, Exú is the god of multiplicity, constantly shape shifting between man, woman, child, non-binary androgyny, and animal forms.

     

    Gustavo presents Exú as a divine being wearing haute couture clothing, highlighting both the sacred and the profane elements within life’s experiences. With imagery that looks like high fashion photography, but is hand drawn with the artist’s fingertips applying charcoal dust to paper or oil on canvas in a dark studio lit by only candlelight, Gustavo creates a sumptuous visual narrative in black and white that leaves space for those who view the work to enter with their own form of humanity.

     

    Solo exhibitions include: Fables on Exu, Gallery 1957, London, 2021; Bará, Luis Maluf Art Gallery and Histórias sobre Ifá, 358, both held in São Paulo, Brazil in 2019.

     

    Group shows include: Outros Ensaios para o Tempo, Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil, 2021; Collective Reflections: Contemporary African and Diasporic Expressions of a New Vanguard, Accra, Ghana, 2020.

     

     
  • Yaw Owusu (b. 1992), Nothing Left Undone, 2021 

     
    Yaw Owusu (b. 1992), Nothing Left Undone, 2021 
    Stainless steel and US pennies
    Diam.: 104 cm.
    Price: £13,500 (plus any applicable taxes)
     
    Yaw Owusu (b.1992) creates sculptural installations that repurpose found objects, shifting the value of otherwise-worthless materials into things of beauty. Built from countless pieces of loose change known as “pesewa” coins, his work activates urgent questions around economic and political independence in contemporary Ghana. First introduced as an attempt to cure the countries economy’s inflation in 2007, these small copper coins have almost no value in today’s financial climate, enabling the artist to use them as a primary material. Typical of Owusu’s approach to working with local agencies to develop his work, the artist acquired the coins by negotiating with Ghana’s banks – a bureaucratic process that is as important to the artist’s practice as the final works.
     
    Created as structural works that embrace the same organic qualities of their materials his sculptures have incorporated as much as twenty-four thousand coins, transforming under various conditions and processes. The bronzed coins undergo various natural and chemical treatments, using salt from the south coasts and vinegar from the mid and eastern regions to reveal their age and quality. They can appear fixed onto wooden panels, draped over walls or loosely hanging onto surfaces to form a camouflage, however they are anything but decorative displays of natural beauty. Instead, these installations are an expression of the artists reflections on the complex processes that demarcate Ghana’s social and political systems. Like the economy itself, the sculptures seem robust due to their dense façade, yet they are in flux and constant movement with their surroundings. The surfaces act both as protective layer of indestructible metal and an shiny foil made up of empty matter.
     
    Through his social engaged yet visually rich practice, Owusu’s continues to question the non-functionality of the countries ongoing infrastructural development. In his new body of work, devalued coins are transformed into a detailed surfaces resembling maps. In one instance, they could be images of old colonial maps representing economic power structures drawn by history, or they could be alternative typographies that map out new possible relations for a more resourceful future. While the material itself is inseparable from the failure of socio-economic structures in Ghana, the artist playful approach is rooted in a sense of alchemy that embraces the complexity of notions of value, exchange and locality in an increasingly global environment.

     

  • A Roman polychrome painted fresco fragment.  Third Pompeian Style, early 1st century AD. Kallos Gallery

     
    Yaw Owusu (b. 1992), Hidden Behind Open Walls, 2020
    Stainless steel and US pennies
    Diam.: 104 cm.
    Price: £ 13,500 (plus any applicable taxes)
     
    Yaw Owusu (b.1992) creates sculptural installations that repurpose found objects, shifting the value of otherwise-worthless materials into things of beauty. Built from countless pieces of loose change known as “pesewa” coins, his work activates urgent questions around economic and political independence in contemporary Ghana. First introduced as an attempt to cure the countries economy’s inflation in 2007, these small copper coins have almost no value in today’s financial climate, enabling the artist to use them as a primary material. Typical of Owusu’s approach to working with local agencies to develop his work, the artist acquired the coins by negotiating with Ghana’s banks – a bureaucratic process that is as important to the artist’s practice as the final works.
     
    Created as structural works that embrace the same organic qualities of their materials his sculptures have incorporated as much as twenty-four thousand coins, transforming under various conditions and processes. The bronzed coins undergo various natural and chemical treatments, using salt from the south coasts and vinegar from the mid and eastern regions to reveal their age and quality. They can appear fixed onto wooden panels, draped over walls or loosely hanging onto surfaces to form a camouflage, however they are anything but decorative displays of natural beauty. Instead, these installations are an expression of the artists reflections on the complex processes that demarcate Ghana’s social and political systems. Like the economy itself, the sculptures seem robust due to their dense façade, yet they are in flux and constant movement with their surroundings. The surfaces act both as protective layer of indestructible metal and an shiny foil made up of empty matter.
     
    Through his social engaged yet visually rich practice, Owusu’s continues to question the non-functionality of the countries ongoing infrastructural development. In his new body of work, devalued coins are transformed into a detailed surfaces resembling maps. In one instance, they could be images of old colonial maps representing economic power structures drawn by history, or they could be alternative typographies that map out new possible relations for a more resourceful future. While the material itself is inseparable from the failure of socio-economic structures in Ghana, the artist playful approach is rooted in a sense of alchemy that embraces the complexity of notions of value, exchange and locality in an increasingly global environment.