KaplanKaplan’s exhibition is questioning the “Western Gaze”

KaplanKaplan’s exhibition is questioning the “Western Gaze”

KaplanKaplan (2nd February – 18th March 2023) is the latest exhibition taking over Copperfield Gallery in South London. Copperfield Gallery is a re-purposed religious building that engages with both emerging and established artists to display work that spans media, disciplines, and concepts. 

In KaplanKaplan, seven figurative artists interpret the ‘Western Gaze’ theme. Gallery partner Andrea Maffioli offers us an exclusive insight into the process.

GUAP: What was the inspiration behind this exhibition?

Andrea: The framework of the show, thinking around the Western Gaze and its legacy considers and expands on the work of some of the canonical writers from art history but also on slightly lesser-known writers like Ann Kaplan [where the exhibition name derives from].

Larry Achiampong – Power in the Blood

All in a single room, the seven voices cover topics ranging from religion to climate change. 

Larry Achiampong’s painting ‘Power in the Blood’ speaks to the impact of Christian Imperialism on the artist’s ancestral tribe, the Ashanti. 

Emmanuel Awuni’s work ‘BE‘ criticizes the colonial history of museum collections. The result is minimal and loud, with a blue background made of foam. 

Ada M. Patterson uses the traditional textile Kanga to communicate the grief climate change has brought in Barbados, her native country, with the image of a burning bridge pointing out the urgency behind her message.

Ada M. Patterson – Kanga for the Present (YOU’RE A LITTLE LATE, I’M ALREADY TORN)

GUAP: The exhibition centers around the power of figurative art. Why is that?

Andrea: We had been thinking for some time about how to respond to the surge of interest in figuration and to highlight and celebrate that figuration can be critical and concept-led. 

And the exhibition does just that. Through different visual media, poignant and powerful messaging transpires, and all the featured artists beam with exciting potential.

KaplanKaplan is free to visit – for more information, see here.

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