The celebration of Latin American Art in London this summer which has been evident in the Pinta Art Fair, exhibitions at the Royal Academy, Maddox Arts, the Pantaea Exhibition of new art from Africa and Latin America at the Saatchi Gallery and, in the last week at Sadie Coles HQ, continues with a solo exhibition of sculpture by the Spanish and Latin American artist Xavier Mascaró which opened this week at the Saatchi Gallery.
Mascaró, who lives and works in Madrid and Mexico City, is displaying several of his contemporary sculptures in bronze and other materials using traditional metal casting techniques.
Mascaró is fascinated by the iconography of boats, whether the Egyptian funerary boats that take the dead in this world to their life in a new world or, in a similar way, people fleeing war, deprivation and poverty, similarly seeking a life in a new world. One gallery is filled with of a fleet of bronze and iron boats which are evocative of long-forgotten shipwrecks sailing in the night and lit by moonlight. In the second gallery are beautiful iron portraits of a young woman from Mascaró’s Eleonora series reminiscent of the profiles on ancient coins, and delicate metal works resembling votive figures from his Idols series, which address cult imagery and veneration.
The main exhibition in two of the main galleries on the second floor is complimented by five large “Guardianes” which stand outside protecting the entrance route to the Gallery. It is good to see the Saatchi using the space outside its main building for sculpture and hope that we see more of this in the future.