Libertas: Manuela Sambo

26 November 2020 - 23 January 2021 Berlin

Born and raised in Luanda, Angola, Manuela Sambo studied German studies in the 80s / 90s at the University of Leipzig. 


During this time, her artistic work began with the construction of masks based on her exploration of her own identity and the subjects of origin and foreignness. In the following years she dedicated herself more and more to painting, which is still until today her most important medium and the focus of her work. Manuela Sambo lives and works in Berlin.


At the centre of her creative work are female figures, painted in their distinctive and very own style, which is characterized by the artist's African origins. The painter's engagement with the iconography, design vocabulary and composition of Western painting, especially the Renaissance, plays a prominent role here. This is particularly evident in the painting that gave the exhibition its name. During a summer stay at the castle in Liebenberg, Manuela Sambo dealt with the person of Libertas Schulze-Boysen, who paid with her life for her efforts against the Hitler regime in the context of the so-called Red Chapel. In this picture, the subjects of war, resistance, and freedom combine in an outstanding, symbolic way,


In her solo exhibition LIBERTAS, Manuela Sambo reveals experiences that deal with the interplay between European art in Africa and African art in Europe. Sambo subtly questions preconceived ideas and guidelines in this context.

Different manifestations and diversity are brought into harmony in a very personal way. This aspect is important to the artist, as it shows her exploration of the current possibilities for realizing an ego against the background of globally uniform social structures and forms, which are at the same time multi-faceted.