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‘A gnaw of cannibals’: solo exhibition by South African artist Isabelle Grobler

December 8, 2015 @ 6:00 PM

|Recurring Event (See all)
Daily until January 8, 2016

Isabelle Grobler’s solo exhibition, a gnaw of cannibals opens on the 8th December 18h30 at Sulger-Buel Lovell gallery in London.

 This year, South African artist Isabelle Grobler was selected to be the second participant of the prestigious Tiroche deLeon Collection and START residency program in Jaffa, Israel. During this time Grobler conceived a new body of work; the cannibals’ congress in search of new ways to approach her drawing, and developing her on-going project the cannibals’ banquet.

Grobler’s new solo exhibition, a gnaw of cannibals, features large-scale abstract and organic-machine-like drawings, etchings, and sculptures. Inspired by the politics of consumption as a psychological and social human function the exhibition draws on two bodies of work, namely the cannibals’ banquet and the cannibals’ congress.

The cannibals’ banquet incorporated hybrid ‘monsters’ constructed from urban debris, which explored the hierarchies and power relations in our paradoxical world. Three sculptures drawn from this installation garnered Grobler recognition as one of the most interesting newcomers at Art15 art fair in London.

“The sculptural characters vacillate, like Frankenstein’s monster, between the threatening and the pathetic, representing a transformation of dead things into unclassifiable beings.”

The underlying concept of the cannibals’ congress is the notion of cultural reproduction. Grobler questions this concept as an oppressive social, cultural and political mechanism serving greater ideological systems.

“I think cultural reproduction is a form of psychological cannibalism. Our mothers and fathers consume our minds before we are aware of it ourselves, just as their parents did before them. They teach and expose us (or don’t teach and don’t expose us) to everything we come to know, this is how our minds are constructed. These practices and beliefs govern us for the rest of our lives. Most people never stop to question or challenge this and so the cycle continues.”

Grobler’s interest lies in the extent to which the complexity of this ‘psychological cannibalism’ is so seldom interrogated.

Sulger-Buel Lovell is invested in internationally showcasing significant established and emerging talents from Africa and the diaspora such as Isabelle Grobler, whose debut solo exhibition was the outcome as the recipient of the galleries emerging artist trophy in 2014.


A gnaw of cannibal’s will open on the 8th December 2015 – 8th January 2016. The opening reception will be open to the public at 18h00 on the 8th December and the preview will be held on the 7th December (media persons to please contact the gallery with regards to the preview).



Christian Sulger-Buel

Mobile +44 777 578 2955



December 8, 2015
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Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery
51 Surrey Row, London SE1 0BZ
London, SE1 0BZ United Kingdom
+44 (0) 203 268 2101


Sulger-Buel Lovell
+44 203 268 2101


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Event Excerpt
Isabelle Grobler’s solo exhibition, a gnaw of cannibals opens on the 8th December 18h30 at Sulger-Buel Lovell gallery in London.