"Badende (nach Tizian)", 2011, Öl auf Leinwand, 140 x 120 cm


In her paintings and drawings Manuela Sambo focuses on female portraits and figures. In the 1980s Sambo moved from Angola to Germany. Here she initially worked with stylistic elements from her home country. The shapes of eyes and mouths as well as the striking body paintings Sambo uses to decorate her characters with, are often reminiscent of Angolan traditions.

For a long time, the appropriation of stylistic elements from Africa was unilaterally performed in Europe. As an Angolan Manuela Sambo adopts this artistic strategy and integrates European elements dating back to the medieval ages into her art. She combines her African way to paint eyes, mouths and body decorations with European headdresses and ornamental pieces taken from historical paintings. Just like European art started looking for the origins of African art, she has been searching for the beginnings and origins of European art and its female images. Taking medieval elements as an inspiration, she mixes these with her own style language.

Space of Possibilities (Big Cross), 2004, Firnis auf Leinwand, 200 x 150 cm

Daniel Sambo-Richter

Daniel Sambo-Richter’s work is based on the dialogue between abstract and figurative painting. Both paths lead towards and away from each other causing a tension that is typical for his work as it always relies on poles and contrasts.

In his colourful, non-figurative work, he traces the phenomenon of space: the imaginary space (imagined, reflected, also dreamt space) and the real space (landscape, urban areas, architecture). He subordinates the balance of power between movement and surface to space. These possibilities are conveyed to painting and are insubstantial only in form. In content, however, they are divested, compressed perceptions, interferences and an essence of all possibilities space contains. The eternal and the uncertain are explored, space is simultaneously limited and extended.

"It is not two souls living in the artist’s heart, because departures and surprises are also built into the stripe-compositions and contradict the assumption of Sambo-Richter having turned hermetic. No matter how he configures his paintings, in their diverse forms of being they always follow movements towards reality in all its manifestations - from a horizontal and wildly sprawling mycelium in an expressive state of germination into the vertical, in the direction of condensation trails, and even further, …. where the mind is searching for itself."
(Christoph Tannert)