Gonçalo Mabunda | Mozambique

“My pieces prove that objects of violence can be transformed into something positive and something beautiful. Not only that but – to me – the reworked weapons represent the resiliency and creativity of African civilian societies.”

Gonçalo Mabunda was born in 1975 in Mozambique and currently lives and works in Maputo.

He’s interested in the collective memory of his country which has only recently emerged from a long and terrible civil war and he works with arms, recovered in 1992, at the end of the sixteen-year conflict that divided the region.

Gonçalo gives anthropomorphic forms to AK47s, rocket launchers, pistols, and other objects of destruction. His work takes on a striking Modernist edge akin to imagery by Braque and Picasso. The deactivated weapons carry strong political connotations and convey a positive reflection on the transformative power of art and the resilience and creativity of African civilian societies.

Mabunda is most well known for his thrones that, according to him, function as attributes of power, tribal symbols, and traditional pieces of ethnic African art. They are an ironic way of commenting on his childhood experience of violence and the civil war that isolated his country for a long period.

‍Goncalo was selected for the exhibition ‘All the World’s Futures’ during Biennale Arte Venezia 2015 and for Biennale Arte Venezia 2019 he was one of the selected artists to represent Mozambique.

PREVIOUS EXHIBITIONS

Selected solo exhibitions:

2020
Goncalo Mabunda, The Negotiator, Online exhibition

2019
Goncalo Mabunda, Orator of time, Jack Bell Gallery, London, Uk

2018
Goncalo Mabunda, Game of Thrones, AKKA Project Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Transformations, Renaud Riley Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

Goncalo Mabunda, The Messenger, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

Cap Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa

2017
Gonçalo Mabunda, Emperor of the Sands, Jack Bell Gallery, London, England

O Aceitador do Medo, Museum Abilio de Mattos e Silva, International Festival of Literature, Obidos, Portugal

2016
Goncalo Mabunda, Manuscripts, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

Gonçalo Mabunda: Game of thrones, Galerie du passage de Pierre Passebon, Paris, France

2013
Gonçalo Mabunda: When I get green, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

2012
Gonçalo Mabunda, New Works, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

2011
New Work, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

2008
My New Voice, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2005
Give Voice, Galleria d’Arte La Nuvola, Rome, Italy

2004
Arms into Art, Alliance Française, Tanzania; Mauritius Islands; Kenya; Ethiopia; South Africa; Burundi; Namibia; Uganda; Army Museum, Delft, Netherlands

2000
An Artist, a Gesture, Nucleo de Arte, Maputo, Mozambique

Selected group exhibitions:

2021
Art Dubai 2021

2020

Art Dubai 2020

Goncalo at the Foundry

1:54 CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART FAIR, Online edition

2019
The Past, the Present and the in-between, Filipe Branquinho, Goncalo Mabunda, Mauro Pinto, National Pavilion of Mozambique at the 58th International Art Exhibition, Biennale Arte 2019, Venice, Italy

Masquerada, Group exhibition, AKKA Project Venice, Venice, Italy

2018
L’Un et l’Autre, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

2017
A Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, England

Gaia à travers ses miroirs, Villa des Arts, Rabbat, Morocco (for the event L’Afrique en Capitale)

E-Mois, MACAAL, Marrakech, Morocco

Art Paris Art Fair, Grand Palais, Paris, France

Devil in disguise, Group exhibition, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

Rassemblement, Group exhibition, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

2016
Unter Waffen. Fire and Forget 2, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany

Lumières d’Afriques, Donwahi Foundation, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

2015
Lumières d’Afrique, Chaillot Theater, OFFICIELLE-FIAC, Paris, France

1:54, Contemporary African Art Fair, London, England

1:54, Contemporary African Art Fair, New-York, USA

All The World’s Futures, The Venice Biennale, Italy

Studio Lumiere, 10 CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS LIVING & WORKING IN AFRICA, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

Le Pensuer, Group exhibition, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

2014
Luminós City.Ordinary Joy: From the Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection, Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Ici l’Afrique/Here Africa – L’Afrique contemporaine à travers le regard de ses artistes, Musée des Suisses dans le Monde,Château de Penthes, Pregny-Chambésy, Switzerland

2011
New Work, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

Art Paris ArtFair, Grand Palais, Magnin-­A, Paris, France

2010
African Stories, Ancienne Banque du Maroc, Magnin-­‐A, Marrakech, Morocco

2008
Second Lives, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA

My New Voice, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007
Afronism, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Brothers in arms, Nùcleo de Arte, Maputo, Mozambique

2005
Give Voice, Galleria d’Arte La Nuvola, Rome, Italy

2004
Africa Remix

Arms into Art, Alliance Française, Tanzania; Mauritius Islands; Kenya; Ethiopia; South Africa; Burundi; Namibia; Uganda; Army Museum, Delft, Netherlands

2000
An Artist, a Gesture, Nucleo de Arte, Maputo, Mozambique

Collections:
The Brooklyn Museum

Tiroche DeLeon Collection

Bill Clinton Collection

The Vatican Museum

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

Gonçalo Mabunda | Mozambique

The architect of the continents, 2020, weapons and scrap metal, 178×124×25 cm
The architect of the archives, 2020, weapons and scrap metal, 64 ×40×16 cm
The reorganized, 2020, weapons and scrap metal, 60x45 cm
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