NANDIPHA MNTAMBO

BIOGRAPHY

Nandipha Mntambo

(b. 1982 Mbabane, Swaziland)

Nandipha Mntambo completed a Master’s in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, in 2007. She is currently based in Johannesburg. Mntambo originally intended to study forensic pathology, but found her way to Fine Arts in an unusual, but fortunate, shift in her career trajectory. Within her sculpture, photography, video and mixed media works, Mntambo’s acute interest in the human body is evident.

Mntambo is perhaps best known for her cowhide sculptures (with the cured hide draped over human forms and set with resin) which confront and question the relationship between humans and animals. These investigations into organic nature and the corporeal address performance, gender, identity, life and death.

She states:

‘My intention is to explore the physical and tactile properties of hide and aspects of control that allow or prevent me from manipulating this material in the context of the female body and contemporary art. I have used cowhide as a means to subvert expected associations with corporeal presence, femininity, sexuality and vulnerability. The work I create seeks to challenge and subvert preconceptions regarding representation of the female body.

‘Themes of confrontation, protection and refuge play out particularly in relation to inner conflicts and to notions of self-love/hatred. The bronze, Sengifikile, uses my own features as a foundation, but takes on the guise of a bull. Referencing the head-and-shoulder busts of the Renaissance tradition, I challenge male and female roles in society and expected associations with femininity, sexuality and vulnerability.’

In 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa presented Material Value, a solo exhibition of her work, including the impressive installation of the work EMABUTFO (2012) in which dozens of hide/human spectres were suspended in mid-air, occupying the gallery room in their haunting formation. Her bronze sculpture, Ophelia (2015) is featured in the sculpture garden of the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, as a permanent acquisition in the institution’s collection.

In 2011, Mntambo won the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art, for which she produced the travelling exhibition Faena. 

She was shortlisted for the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize in Canada (2014), was a Civitella Ranieri Fellow (2013), and received the Wits/BHP Billiton Fellowship (2010).

 

Solo exhibitions

2017      

The snake you left inside me, Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa

Material Value, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

2015      

Love and its companions, Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm, Sweden 

Metamorphoses, Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

 

2014      

Transience, Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2013      

Nandipha Mntambo, Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Nandipha Mntambo, Andrehn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm, Sweden

 

2012      

Faena, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein; Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg; University of Potchefstroom Art Gallery, South Africa

The Unspoken, Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

 

2011      

Faena, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth; Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Durban Art Gallery, South Africa

 

2009      

Umphatsi Wemphi, Brodie/Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa 

The Encounter, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

 

2007       

Ingabisa, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

 

 

Selected group exhibitions

2020      

Contemporary Female Identities in the Global South, Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation, South Africa

Matereality, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

TINY2020, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2019      

Ngoma: Art and Cosmology, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa

Speculative Inquiry #1 (On abstraction), Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town, South Africa

IncarNations: African Art as Philosophy, BOZAR Centre for Arts, Brussels, Belgium

Personal Structures – Identities, European Cultural Centre - Italy, Venice, Italy

Made Visible: Contemporary South African Fashion and Identity, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, USA

 

2018      

City Deep, The Centre for the Less Good Idea, Johannesburg South Africa

Dance Africa Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, USA

Beyond Borders: Global Africa, University of Michigan Museum of Art, USA

Both, and, Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

Norval Sculpture Garden, Norval Foundation, Tokai, South Africa

Sculpture, Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Port Louis, Mauritius Not A Single Story, Nirox Winter Sculpture Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2017      

Nandipha Mntambo and Per B Sundberg, Galerie Hervé van der Straeten, Paris, France

Afrique Capitales, La Vilette/ Paris, France

When the Heavens Meet the Earth: Selected Works from the Sina Jina Collection of Contemporary Art, Heong Gallery, Downing College, Cambridge, UK

Jaguars and Electric Eels, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin, Germany

Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel

The Future is Female, 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, USA

 

2016      

Dak’Art, 12th Dakar Biennale, Senegal

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA; Fowler Museum, UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, Los Angeles, USA

 

2015      

The Film Will Always Be You: South African Artists on Screen, Tate Modern, London, UK Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Seattle Art Museum, USA

What remains is tomorrow, South African Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA

Barriers: Contemporary South Africa, Wanås Konst, Southern Sweden

 

2014      

Performance Now, Queensland University of Technology Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

Chroma, Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

One Man's Trash (Is Another Man's Treasure), The Danjuma Collection 33 Fitzroy Square, London, UK

AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada

 

2013       

A Sculptural Premise, Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

My Joburg, La Maisone Rouge, Paris, France

Female Power: Matriarchy, Spirituality and Utopia, Arnhem Museum, Arnhem, the Netherlands

Material Matters: New Art from Africa, Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Port Louis, Mauritius

From Sitting to Selfie: 300 Years of South African Portraits, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, MMK (Museum für Moderne Kunst), Frankfurt, Germany; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, USA

To Be Real – Performance and Performativity, Videonale.14 Elektronenströme, Videonale E.V, IM Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany

 

2012      

The Rainbow Nation, Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague, the Netherlands

3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow, Russia

Viewpoint: A Closer Look at Showing, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Mine – A selection of films by SA artists, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 

2011      

ARS 11, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland

Contemporary South African Artists, Turner Galleries, Perth, Australia

Mine – A selection of films by SA artists, Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany

 

2010      

PEEKABOO: Current South Africa, Tennis Palace Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland

Ampersand, Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, Germany

The Beauty of Distance: Song of survival in a precarious age, 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia

Space: Currencies in contemporary African art, Museum Africa, Newtown, Johannesburg, South Africa

Dak’Art, 9th Dakar Biennale, Senegal

Life Less Ordinary: Performance and display in South African art, Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales The Good Old Days, Aarhus Art Building, Denmark

Hautnah: Hair in art and culture, Kunstverein Leonberg, Germany

Toros! Works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, Galerie Sophie Scheidecker, Paris, France She Devil, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Rome, Italy

 

2009      

Hautnah: Hair in art and culture, Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden-Rot, Germany

Les Rencontres de Bamako biennial of African photography, Bamako, Mali

Life Less Ordinary: Performance and display in South African art, Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham, UK 

La modernité dans l'art africain d'aujourd'hui, Panafrican Cultural Festival of Algiers, Algeria Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Works from the 2008 Dak'art biennale, ifa Gallery, Berlin; Stuttgart, Germany

Number Two: Fragile, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, Germany

Why not?, Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin, Germany

Beauty and Pleasure in South African Contemporary Art, The Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway

 

2008      

Summer 2008/9: Projects, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

Disturbance: Contemporary art from Scandinavia and South Africa, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa

Dak'art, Dakar Biennale, Senegal

Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA

Skin-to-skin: Challenging textile art, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

.za: giovane arte dal Sudafrica, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy

The Trickster, ArtExtra, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2007      

Summer 2007/8, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

Apartheid: The South African Mirror, Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, Spain Afterlife, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

 

2006      

Olvida quien soy - Erase me from who I am, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

MTN New Contemporaries 2006, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa Second to None, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

 

2005       

 In the Making: Materials and Process, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 

 

Awards

2016      

Creator Award | Glamour South Africa Women of the Year

2014      

Shortlisted for the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize, Canada

2012      

Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art, South Africa 2010 Wits/BHP Billiton Fellowship, South Africa

2005      

Curatorial Fellowship, Brett Kebble Art Awards, South Africa 2004 Mellon Meyers Fellowship, South Africa

2003      

Mellon Meyers Fellowship, South Africa

 

Residencies

2013      

Citivella Ranerie Residency, Umbertide, Italy

2013      

The SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP), Cleveland, USA