.insofar art gallery in Lisbon is thrilled to announce “O Sistema”, a solo exhibition by the young and talented Angolan artist Cristiano Mangovo. The exhibition opened on the 4th of February, to coincide with Angola’s Liberation Movement Day and runs until April 30, 2022.

Curated by 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 mindset of division and opposition, conflicts of interests or the exercising of power, its conquest and preservation at all costs. Speaking about the exhibition, Sirois said: “The paintings aim to stimulate reflection on imperialism, conflicts of interest, rivalries and power games. No matter who sits, how, when and for how long, the system remains the same, untouchable and unchallenged. Committed to issues such as injustice, inequity, poverty and ecocide, practising the art of typologies and archetypes, his approach goes beyond local specificities to achieve a universal dimension.”

Echoing a common expression in Angola, the exhibition’s title “O Sistema” infuses Mangovo’s body of works with a light-hearted 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.

Commenting on his work, Mangovo tells us: “Human beings are a world, they hold an entire universe within them. Wherever people are, is where I get most of my inspiration.”

His work is much revered around the globe, for example, his work titled DIA DE FELICIDADE achieved £40,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £5,000 – £7,000 in Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African Art sale in London on 15th October 2019. It is also held within many prestigious 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.

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