Henri Barande, Saatchi Gallery, London.

French-born artist Henri Barande comes to Saatchi Gallery, London, for his first and only UK exhibition this October. Standing as one of the gallery’s most prominent shows to date, allowing viewers into the unique and fantastical mind of sculptor thought to have made over 40,000 works over the last 50 years.

Barande was born in Morocco and grew up in Carthage, an area whose geography, architecture and atmosphere undeniably influenced his developing practice. With creativity that knows now bounds, the artist holds the belief that his life, and in extension the works he produces within it, is an extension of a death that has already occurred – his art as a material and philosophical expression has survived from his previous existence.

Holding and developing this interest in the natural dichotomies of life and death, the found and the fabricated, flows through his mind and manifests in the world he creates filled with miniature forms and figures. These mythic sculptures, drenched with his own psychological projections, have either been buried within secret locations or destroyed by the artist, concealed from any audience other than himself within their construction.

However, this act of burial, or concealment hasn’t hindered the view of familiar motifs and inspirations which bleed into his other works. Paintings and pieces executed within different mediums evoke and uncover the themes which pervade the hidden sculptures. Illuminating – both in their palettes and in the information they shed about the artist’s other works and thematic concerns – these canvasses provide a conversation between abstraction and figurative narratives, as well as providing a source of life in contrast to the seemingly “dead” sculptures.

The show at Saatchi presents 45 of these demonstrative canvasses as well as 25 of the uncovered sculptures. Acting out against his desires to be anonymous, the show is the only chance to see the works, as they will only be displayed once in every country before becoming dormant again as a vision only to be seen by Barande.

Henri Barande, Saatchi Gallery, London, 4-31 October.  Find out more: www.saatchigallery.com

Henri Barande: The Work Beyond, edited by David Galloway, is published by Booth-Clibborn Editions. Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Henri-Barande-Beyond-David-Galloway/dp/1861543824

1. Henri Barande, Installation view, Saatchi Gallery. Courtesy of the Violet Hour.