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AUBREY WILLIAMS (1926-1990), of part Afro-Caribbean ancestry, was born in Guyana. A truly transatlantic artist, Williams produced work from studios in Florida, Jamaica and London. In his paintings, Williams expresses his absorption with the natural world through new stylistic trends then concurrent in Europe and America, finding particular affinity with Rothko, Gorky and Pollock. Further important influences include the music of Shostakovich, an abstraction of which he sought to realise in paint, and the iconography of pre-Columbian cultures. The apparent self-destruction of the Maya should, he felt, serve as a portent for modern times. After moving to London in 1952, he attended the prestigious St. Martin’s School of Art and was a founder member of the influential Caribbean Artists’ Movement. His work is held in the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London,the National Gallery of Jamaica and the Perez Art Museum in Miami.
EDDY KAMUANGA ILUNGA is one of the most exciting young artists working in Africa today. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1991, he trained at the Kinshasa Academy of Arts and has gone on to found the dynamic Congolese art collective ‘M’Pongo’, representative of the creative vibrancy to be found in modern Kinshasa. In his present series ‘Mangbetu’, Kamuanga has explored the predicament of the Mangbetu people, an ethnic group of warrior extraction in the DRC, whose culture is being threatened by a postcolonial desire to modernise. His paintings possess a monumental quality that is both heroic and elegiac. Kamuanga has been shown across Africa, notably at Dak’Art; Biennale OFF Senegal in 2014, and as well as causing a storm at London’s 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in 2015 has been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery’s ‘Pangaea II’