December 08, 2023 - December 10, 2023
Solo Presentation: Sanaa Gateja
At the 2023 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, Afriart Gallery presents a solo presentation by the Ugandan artist Sanaa Gateja (*1947, Uganda).
Drawing upon ideas of community in several ways, Gateja’s perspective on creating art acknowledges interconnectedness among humans, as well as between humans and the environment. His recent body of work calls for transformation from universal and mathematical norms towards contextual action. They suggest to think and act within scopes of the individual person, interpersonal and societal relationships as well as considering our relationships with ourselves, and our natural and manmade environments.
Gateja is a mixed-media artist and jewelry designer who is widely known for his signature incorporation of recycled man-made waste materials in his practice, particularly his pioneering fashioning of beads from discarded paper, which earned him the nickname ‘The Bead King’ in Uganda.
He also works with bark cloth, paper, raffia, wood and banana fiber, using his materials to construct medium-scale to large experimental abstract pieces that straddle installation, tapestry and sculpture and strike a balance between aesthetic and conceptual value. The artist allows the material to speak in its own micro-cosmos and ‘weaves’ them into abstract narratives commenting on social and political realities in his home country Uganda.
Gateja studied interior design in Italy and Jewelry Design at Goldsmiths in London. He has exhibited extensively across Africa as well as internationally, including at ARCOlisboa, INVESTEC Cape Town Art Fair, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Art Paris, AKAA Paris, Themes & Variations London, the Museum of Art and Design New York and at the 58th Carnegie International.