The Thousand Year Kingdom

The Thousand Year Kingdom

‘The Thousand Year Kingdom’ is the first solo museum exhibition in London of work by artist, writer and curator Cedar Lewisohn


LONDON, UK, 12 October 2021 – Saatchi Gallery will open an exhibition of works by Cedar Lewisohn in one of its main gallery spaces on 29 October 2021. The exhibition will be open to the public from 29 October to 28 November with free admission.

The Thousand Year Kingdom features a series of large scale woodblock prints primarily made throughout 2013; a group of works that have not previously been shown together. These prints combine images relating to African and Mesopotamian objects from museum collections in the UK and Europe with recognisable details and depictions of contemporary life. The works are the antecedent to much of the visual language that Lewisohn’s current practice focuses on. The brutal yet delicate method of production plays with the idea of “primitivism” and the connotations of labelling artworks as primitive. In these works, images are repeated, and new contexts and meanings are created with the addition or subtraction of colours or abstract landscapes. These repetitions play with the medium of printing, and the ways in which the viewer receives and processes visual information.

The exhibition includes a selection of prints from Lewisohn’s acclaimed comic book The Marduk Prophecy published in 2020. Produced from handmade woodcuts and Lino prints, the images portray objects found in the British Museum – whose Benin Bronzes were looted and whose ownership is contested – as well as other museums such as the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Petrie Museum. These depictions of objects from ancient civilisations are mixed with symbols of the contemporary world that refer to youth culture in the UK, such as Drill Music creating an abstract narrative that references social, ethical and political issues.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of limited edition artists publications.