Sri Lankan activist art by Chandraguptha Thenuwara to be shown at Frieze London

USA Art News, July 18, 2022


In the wake of the crisis engulfing Sri Lanka, Saskia Fernando Gallery in Colombo will bring works by one of the country’s most prominent political artists, Chandraguptha Thenuwara to Frieze London later this year. “We are showing Thenuwara, a leading contemporary artist and activist at the forefront of the [democratic] people’s movement for decades,” says the gallery founder Saskia Fernando. “His body of work is dedicated to exposing political corruption in Sri Lanka.”


At Frieze (12-16 October), the gallery will present Covert Drawings, a series of ink on paper works created alongside the artist’s welded metal installation titled Covert, which is on show at the European Cultural Centre in Venice for the duration of this year’s Biennale (until 27 November). Thenuwara created the 2m-tall sculpture by making line drawings, combining motifs such as lotus leaves and guns, that were then welded onto a hollow drum. “The work stands as a monolith representation of his explorations of Sri Lankan politics since 1997,” according to a gallery statement.


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