Goodman Gallery’s ART SG 2024 presentation spotlights Global South artists of different generations, from rising international talent to household names.
Featured artists include: Yto Barrada, Nicholas Hlobo, William Kentridge, Misheck Masamvu, Cassi Namoda, Sam Nhlengethwa, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Tavares Strachan, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Clive van den Berg
Nicholas Hlobo’s (b. 1975, South Africa) signature techniques include creating hybrid objects by intricately weaving ribbon and leather into crisply primed canvas alongside wood and rubber detritus. He began his career around the end of apartheid in 1994, when there was a new sense of freedom and national pride in South Africa. Hlobo’s subtle commentary on the democratic realities of his home country and concerns with the changing international discourse of art remain at the core of his work.
In 2024 Hlobo’s work will be featured in two major group shows in early 2024: Translations: Afro-Asian Poetics, curated by Dr. Zoé Whitley at The Institutum in Singapore and Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art at the Barbican in the UK.
Ilovane (Chameleon) and Emandleni omangalisayo kamatshini (The incredible power of the machine) (2023) are a new works by Hlobo that is part of a recent shift in the artist’s practice from a minimal use of acrylic paint to a less inhibited approach, incorporating the medium with signature materials, particularly ribbon stitched into the canvas lending a sculptural feel. Each material in the work holds charged associations with cultural, gendered, sexual and national identity, creating a complex visual narrative that references ideas around post-apartheid nationhood, the self and bodily healing.
Hlobo’s work is included in numerous international public and private collections, including Tate Modern, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art, Savannah; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art, Cape Town.
Solo museum exhibitions have been held at the Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague (2016); Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia (2010) and Tate Modern, London (2008). Hlobo has participated in several biennales including the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2012), 54th Venice Biennale (2011), 6th Liverpool Biennial (2010) and 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, China (2008).
Nicholas Hlobo (b. 1975, Cape Town, South Africa) began his career around the end of apartheid in 1994, when there was a new sense of freedom and national pride in South Africa. With the eradication of legalised and enforced discrimination and segregation, Hlobo and his peers were empowered to openly voice their opinions and ideas under the protection of these new laws. Hlobo’s subtle commentary on the democratic realities of his home country and concerns with the changing international discourse of art remain at the core of his work. Using tactile materials such as ribbon, leather, wood, and rubber detritus that he melds and weaves together, Hlobo creates intricate two- and three-dimensional hybrid objects. Each material holds a particular association with cultural, gendered, sexual, or ethnic identity. Together, the works create a complex visual narrative that reflects the cultural dichotomies of Hlobo’s native South Africa as well as those that exist around the world. His evocative, anthropomorphic imagery and metaphorically charged materials elucidate the artist’s own multifaceted identity within the context of his South African heritage.
Apron, Cursive (Fish) and Milk (2023) are part of an accumulation of elemental symbols within Kentridge’s broader practice. This series of bronze sculptures functions as a form of visual dictionary, giving thought to form. The sculptures are symbols and ‘glyphs’, a repertoire of everyday objects or suggested words and icons, many of which have been used repeatedly across previous projects. The glyphs can be arranged to construct sculptural sentences and rearranged to deny meaning.
William Kentridge (b.1955, South Africa) is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions. Kentridge’s work is held in the following major collections around the world: MoMA, New York; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi and Zeitz MoCAA, Cape Town.
The artist’s largest UK survey to date was held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2022. In the same year, Kentridge opened another major survey exhibition, In Praise of Shadows, at The Broad, Los Angeles. In 2023 this exhibition travelled to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Kentridge’s work has been seen in museums across the globe since the 1990s, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Albertina Museum, Vienna: Musée du Louvre in Paris, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Reina Sofia museum, Madrid, Kunstmuseum in Basel; and Norval Foundation in Cape Town. The artist has also participated in biennale’s including Documenta in Kassel (2012, 2002,1997) and the Venice Biennale (2015, 2013, 2005, 1999, 1993).
Painter Misheck Masamvu (b. 1980, Zimbabwe) is widely regarded as one of the leading figures of the Harare painting school. Trained in Germany, Masamvu continues to live and work in Zimbabwe which provides rich inspiration for his gestural painting.
In 2024 Masamvu’s work will be featured in a major group show in early 2024: Translations: Afro-Asian Poetics, curated by Dr. Zoé Whitley at The Institutum in Singapore.
Cadence and Rhythm form part of a new body of work that combines striking colour with a distinct expressionist style to establish a grammar of chaotic compositions, gestural brushwork and perpetually altered or mutated figures often depicted in states of flux or transformation.
Masamvu’s works are held in collections across the globe including the Khouri Art Foundation, Dubai; Perez Art Museum, Miami; Pigozzi Collection, Geneva; Taguchi Art Collection, Tokyo; X Museum, Beijing; and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town.
Notable solo and group exhibitions include Inside Out, Fondation Grandpour l’Art, Geneva (2022); Talk to me while I’m eating, Goodman Gallery, London (2021); Witness: Afro Perspectives, El Espacio 23, Miami (2020); Allied with Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami (2020); and Two Together, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town (2020).
Museum exhibitions and biennales include The ‘t’ is silent, 8th Biennial of Painting, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Sint-Martens-Latem (2022); STILL ALIVE, 5th Aichi Triennale, Aichi (2022), NIRIN, 22nd Sydney Biennale, Sydney (2020), the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016) and his international debut at Zimbabwe’s inaugural Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).
Misheck Masamvu (b. 1980, Penhalonga, Zimbabwe) explores and comments on the socio-political setting of post-independence Zimbabwe, and draws attention to the impact of economic policies that sustain political mayhem. Masamvu raises questions and ideas around the state of ‘being’ and the preservation of dignity. His practice encompasses drawing, painting and sculpture.
Masamvu studied at Atelier Delta and Kunste Akademie in Munich, where he initially specialised in the realist style, and later developed a more avant-garde expressionist mode of representation with dramatic and graphic brushstrokes. His work deliberately uses this expressionist depiction, in conjunction with controversial subject matter, to push his audience to levels of visceral discomfort with the purpose of accurately capturing the plight, political turmoil and concerns of his Zimbabwean subjects and their experiences. His works serve as a reminder that the artist is constantly socially-engaged and is tasked with being a voice to give shape and form to a humane sociological topography. In 2020, Masamvu took part in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney.
Masamvu’s work has been well-received and exhibited in numerous shows including Armory Show 2018, Art Basel 2018, Basel Miami Beach 2017, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York 2016, São Paulo Biennale 2016, and the Venice Biennale, Zimbabwe Pavillion 2011.
Cassi Namoda (b. 1988, Mozambique) is known for her strong colour palette and narrative approach. Her hybrid narratives are at once wondrous and poignant, everyday and fantastical, archival and current. Cassi Namoda’s work transfigures the cultural mythologies and historical narratives of life in post-colonial Africa, particularly those of the artist’s familial home of Mozambique.
Namoda’s work is held in public collections including Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; MACAAL, Marrakesh; and The Studio Museum; New York.
Notable solo exhibitions include Life has become a foreign language, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town; To Live Long is To See Much, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (2020); Little is Enough for Those with Love/Mimi Nakupenda, The Royal Academy of Arts, London (2019); and Bar Texas, 1971, Library Street Collective, Detroit (2017). Group shows include ECHO. Wrapped in Memory, MoMu, Antwerp; When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town (2022 - 2023); American Women, La Patinoire Royale-Galerie Valérie Bach (2020).
Cassi Namoda (b. 1988) is a painter whose work transfigures the cultural mythologies and historical narratives of life in post-colonial Africa, particularly those of the artist’s native Mozambique. Namoda’s paintings are highly elusive, drawing upon literary, cinematic and architectural influences that capture the expansiveness of her specifically Luso-African vantage point. The idiosyncratic subjects who appear and reappear in Namoda’s paintings also convey this hybridity: they emerge from African indigenous religions just as much as they spring from Western mythologies. Her work borrows from an art historical canon and arises from vernacular photography in equal measure. While they appear straightforward, her images are conceptually rigorous and portray figures with complex narratives. Namoda is equally attentive to landscape, creating scenes that depict both the rural and the urban through a surreal lens. Having lived in Haiti, the United States, Kenya, Benin, Uganda and other countries, Namoda has acquired a grasp of place that is at once grounded and subversive. Her landscapes resound with the features of equatorial life – blazing suns, palm trees –but they are mythic in their representation and pleasantly impeccable – mirroring the subjects that populate them.
Sam Nhlengethwa (b. 1955, Payneville, Springs) part of a pioneering generation of late 20th century South African artists whose work reflects the sociopolitical history and everyday life of their country. Through his paintings, collages and prints Nhlengethwa has depicted the evolution of Johannesburg through street life, interiors, jazz musicians and fashion.
A central thread in his practice is his fascination with the sartorial; how people dress themselves to represent who they are and how they view the world. Pose I formed part of a new body of work that explores the connection between art and fashion.
Sam Nhlengethwa was born in the black township community of Payneville near Springs (a satellite mining town east of Johannesburg), in 1955 and grew up in Ratanda location in nearby Heidelberg. In the 1980s, he moved to Johannesburg where he honed his practice at the renowned Johannesburg Art Foundation under its founder Bill Ainslie.
Nhlengethwa is one of the founders of the legendary Bag Factory in Newtown, in the heart of the city, where he used to share studio space with fellow greats of this pioneering generation of South African artists, such as David Koloane and Pat Mautloa.
Despite Nhlengethwa’s pioneering role in South Africa art, his work has received rare visibility in London. A major survey exhibition, titled Life, Jazz and Lots of Other Things, was hosted by SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia in 2014, which was then co-hosted in Atlanta by SCAD and the Carter Center.
Other notable exhibitions and accolades in South Africa and around the world include: in 1994 – the year South Africa held its first democratic elections – Nhlengethwa was awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award; in 1995, his work was included in the Whitechapel Gallery’s Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa in London; in 2000, he participated in a two-man show at Seippel Art Gallery in Cologne.
Other significant international group exhibitions include Constructions: Contemporary Art from South Africa at Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Niteroi at in Brazil in 2011, Beyond Borders: Global Africa at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in 2018.
Nhlengethwa’s work has featured on a number of international biennales: in 2003, his work was included in the 8th Havana Biennale, Southern African Stories: A Print Collection, the 12th International Cairo Biennale in 2010, the 2013 Venice Biennale as part of the South African pavilion, titled Imaginary Fact: Contemporary South African Art and the Archive, and in the 6th Beijing Biennale in 2015.
Nhlengethwa’s practice features in important arts publications, such as Phaidon’s The 20th Century Art Book (2001).
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA
Over the past four decades, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA (b. 1962, UK) has become well known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. Shonibare’s work examines race, class, and the construction of cultural identity through a sharp political commentary on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories.
Shonibare was selected to show as part of the official Nigerian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia from April 2024. In 2024, a solo exhibition of his work will be presented at the Serpentine Galleries, London.
Shonibare’s exhibition of new work African Bird Magic was on display in the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management lounges at Frieze London and Frieze Masters as well as in the Frieze viewing room. Shonibare’s new series of quilts of the same title take drawings utilising some of the African artefacts which inspired artists like Picasso, Matisse, Derain and many other modernist movements. These objects become symbols of African empowerment to challenge the consequences of Western colonial industrialisation in the degradation of the African environment. Illustrated in the quilts are endangered African birds like yellow breasted bunting, southern bald ibis and crowned lark alongside vehicles of ancestral memory which have been powerful enough to colonise entire Western modernist canons. At a time of environmental emergency, these objects become the symbolic protectors of beautiful endangered African birds.
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA (b. London, UK, 1962) moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to the UK to study Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art, London and Goldsmiths College, London, where he received his Masters in Fine Art.
In 2022, Shonibare unveiled three major sculptural works in Stockholm, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. In recent years, he has unveiled Wind Sculptures at Norval Foundation in Cape Town (2019) and Central Park, New York (2018). Shonibare’s first public art commission, titled Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, was displayed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2010 and was acquired by London’s National Maritime Museum.
Current and recent survey exhibitions and retrospectives include Yinka Shonibare CBE: Planets in My Head (1 April – 31 October 2022) at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Michigan and Yinka Shonibare CBE: End of Empire at the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg (22 May 2021 – 3 October 2021). Shonibare’s 2008 mid-career survey travelled from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney to the Brooklyn Museum in New York as well as the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
Major awards include the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Award 2021 and Shonibare was honoured as ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ in 2019. Shonibare was also nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004, and in 2002, he created one of his most recognised installations, Gallantry and Criminal Conversation for Documenta XI.
Over the past two decades, New York-based, Nassau-born artist Tavares Strachan (b. 1979, Bahamas) has formed a research-intensive practice that taps into art, science, history, and cultural critique with thematic investigations related to invisibility, displacement and loss. The artist’s primary interest is storytelling, with a focus on how an experience has an impact on the viewer. This is extended into his considerations of multidimensional performance and how working in multiple mediums collides.
Museum collection include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Bass, Miami; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; The Momentary at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; Musée d’art contemporain, Lyon; The Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; and RISD Museum at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence.
Head and Pot (Louise Little: Leopard) (2023) forms part of a larger series of ceramic, totem-like works that presents key African American, Caribbean and Brazilian figures, offering an expression of their stories as having a spiritual significance in addition to their social impact. This series was produced for his August 2023 show at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, his first show on the African continent.
Tavares Strachan’s artistic practice activates the intersections of art, science, and politics, offering uniquely synthesized points of view on the cultural dynamics of scientific knowledge. Aeronautics, astronomy, deep-sea exploration, and extreme climatology are but some of the thematic arenas out of which Strachan creates monumental allegories that tell of cultural displacement, human aspiration, and mortal limitation. Themes of invisibility, displacement, and loss are central to his work, which questions historically canonized narratives that marginalize or obscure others. His text-based neon sculptures are an anthem for our political and cultural moment, and his lexicon an effort to mobilize community and societal change. Strachan’s ambitious, open-ended practice has included collaborations with numerous organizations and institutions across the disciplines.
Strachan was born in 1979 in Nassau, Bahamas, and currently lives and works between New York City and Nassau. He received a BFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2003 and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University in 2006. He draws on both the resources and community of his birthplace, dividing his time between his studio in New York and Nassau, where he has established an art studio and scientific research platform B.A.S.E.C. (Bahamas Aerospace and Sea Exploration Center) and OKU, a not-for-profit community project encompassing an artist residency and exhibition spaces, a scholarship scheme, and after-school creative programs.
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s (b. 1980, Botswana) multidisciplinary practice encompasses drawing, painting, installation and animation. Her work alludes to mythology, geology and theories on the nature of the universe. Sunstrum’s drawings take the form of narrative landscapes that appear simultaneously futuristic and ancient, shifting between representational and fantastical depictions of volcanic, subterranean, cosmological and precipitous landscapes. Her work ‘The Pavilion’ (2023) is the latest commission by London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE. Sunstrum will also have her first major solo exhibition at The Curve in September 2024.
Assembly I (talk funny) forms part of Sunstrum’s new body of work that plays out the fictional narrative of a femme fatale figure who embodies the precarity, suspicion and defiance that comes with a return and desire for access. The figure is seen in gathering spaces; lines outside bureaucratic buildings, seating areas outside the home, by the river. Occupying the liminal spaces of colonial outposts and government offices, the vulnerability of requesting permission to leave or stay is poignant. It brings to the surface the residue and hierarchy of colonial power structures. The figure’s ambiguity is highlighted through her staged positions and disjointed placement within the environment, coupled with her translucent appearance. This provides an interrogation of border politics in the geopolitical sense as well as a feeling of being on the border, an outsider, within one’s immediate circumstances.
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum (b. 1980, Botswana) is a Netherlands-based multidisciplinary artist whose practice encompasses drawing, painting, installation and animation. Her work alludes to mythology, geology and theories on the nature of the universe. Sunstrum’s drawings take the form of narrative landscapes that appear simultaneously futuristic and ancient, shifting between representational and fantastical depictions of volcanic, subterranean, cosmological and precipitous landscapes.
Sunstrum’s major new work The Pavilion (2023), produced in collaboration with Remco Osório Lobato, is the latest commission by London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE and is Sunstrum’s first UK solo presentation at a public institution.
Notable projects include Sunstrum’s inclusion in the 2023 Liverpool Biennial with the work, “Mumbo Jumbo and The Committee,” an installation featuring drawing, animation and bespoke furnishing inspired by Victorian design and aesthetics; and Sunstrum’s mural around the exterior of The Showroom in London (2018). The work was dedicated to South African Novelist Bessie Head and formed part of the show group show Women on Aeroplanes.
Clive van den Berg
Clive van den Berg (b. 1956, Zambia) is a Johannesburg-based artist, curator and designer. Working across various mediums throughout the course of his prolific forty-year career, which has focused on pioneering the insertion of queer perspectives into the larger rewrite of South African history, Van den Berg has produced a range of works unified by his enduring focus on five interrelated themes: memory, light, landscape, desire and body.
Aquifer IV (Plunge), Landscape Event XIV and Landscape Event XV continue his engagement with the idea of the land as a porous receptacle for lived experience. In these works the artist continues to reflect on his own complex relationship to landscape with this body of work communicating a more visceral articulation of this engagement. This is embedded in the quality of the paint as much as the construction of the paintings and the abstract imagery that emerges on the canvas.
Solo exhibitions include Landscape Echoes, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town (2023); Fugitive Marks, Goodman Gallery, London (2022); Underscape, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg (2021); Remembering, a survey exhibition of paintings, prints and sculptures at the Kwa-Zulu Natal Society of Art Gallery, Durban (2021); Coming to the City, London (2012); and Personal Affects, Museum of African Art, New York (2005).
Clive van den Berg (b. 1956, Zambia) is an artist, curator and designer, who works on his own and in collaboration with colleagues in a collective called trace, whose primary activities are the development of public projects. He has had several solo exhibitions in South Africa, and his work is regularly exhibited abroad. His public projects have included the artworks for landmark Northern Cape Legislature and, since he has joined the trace team, museum projects for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Constitution Hill, Freedom Park, the Workers Museum, The Holocaust and Genocide Centre and many other projects.
Van den Berg has much experience working on large-scale institutional projects with teams representing diverse constituencies: urban planners and policy makers, architects, landscape designers, museum curators, historians, community liaison officials and representatives of local and national governments. In the Northern Cape, for example, where he worked with the Luis Ferreira da Silva architects, he pioneered a new strategy for integrating forms of the local landscape and indigenous aesthetics into the overall building design, while also training local artisans as part of a skills transference project aimed at long-term sustainability. The result is a world-renowned and uniquely South African state edifice: a monument to the people of the Northern Cape.