Portia Malatjie

  • Frida Orupabo, Untitled, 2019, collage and paper pins mounted on aluminum, 52 × 48 3⁄8".


    WAITING IS AN ACTIVITY familiar to most, but in South Africa it carries a particular charge. In 1995, the country officially celebrated its first Day of Reconciliation, marking the supposed unification of its Black and white populations following the demise of the apartheid regime and in the wake of the first democratic elections in April 1994. It’s been twenty-eight long transitional years, and yet a truly egalitarian South Africa remains but a dream, as Black South Africans still face systemic subjugation in a white-dominated economy. This imbalance affects living conditions, quality of life,

  • Khanyisile Mawhayi, Xibelani na Micheka 2021, soft pastel on canvas, 39 3⁄8 × 28 5⁄8".

    Khanyisile Mawhayi

    Approaching the most recent exhibition by Johannesburg-based artist Khanyisile Mawhayi, one expected to be overwhelmed by blocks of bright color—the audacious blues, yellows, and pinks associated with her father’s people, the Tsonga of southern Africa. Instead, audiences were politely greeted by hues that, while bright, bold, and vivid, were nonetheless tamer than anticipated. In the spirit of reclamation, the artist deliberately uses the bright colors that are often a source of ridicule directed at the Tsonga; in so doing, she seeks to dissolve and obscure the stereotypical and often derogatory

  • Cassi Namoda, Armando from Zambezi province late to meet beloved, a tragedy, 2020, oil and acrylic on cotton-polyester, 48 × 36".

    Cassi Namoda

    Dreamlike pastel greens, browns, and blues punctuated “To Live Long Is to See Much,” Cassi Namoda’s first exhibition in Africa outside her birth country of Mozambique. The work of the New York– and Los Angeles–based artist insists on the reciprocal relationship of Western and African aesthetics and continues to shatter the myth of an African art that gives to the West but cannot productively receive from it. Her cheeky references to Western art history include an homage to Goya in We have become strangers (Fight with a javelin and boron). An ode to Goya (all works 2020) and one to Hieronymus