Space traveller's lullaby, 2019

Unique Artwork

Watercolour on paper

Indian Ink and Watercolour on Cotton Paper

CM H 198.5 W 139

IN H 78.15 W 54.72

Certificate of authenticity - Signed by artist

Space traveller's lullaby, 2019

This work is part of the solo exhibition titled "Of the seeking or the finding" with SMAC Gallery.
Mongezi Ncaphayi insists on speaking to the world, but not necessarily in the languages and forms that are convenient to our tastes and expectations. He tap into the recesses of his soul, to the nothingness of the cosmos, to determine his way.

The language of abstraction in Ncaphayi’s work is a journey that vacillates between the real and the ethereal. Its exploratory thrust investigates the realness of the artistic materials at its disposal; with materials that are conventional but subjected to a process that never guarantees predictable outcomes. Left to chance, this unknowable fate opens the paper or canvas to be more than a substrate but also a site of exploration; a map from which we seek and discover the unknown via the chitchat of the paint, the ink scissors, brush, the cut-offs, and the water.

Ncaphayi’s paintings, largely minimalist, vacillate between collages and painting using the wet-on-wet technique. Wet-on-wet refers to a procedure based on water based pigmentations, whereby a watery pigment is applied on top of another in a semi controlled way, causing a complex and rhythmic orchestra of painterly effects. These images tend to resemble a topographic layout, a blurred form of mapping out. Here the art object becomes a cartographic sign in which we trace the labyrinth of self-developed shades, rendered elegantly and seemingly effortlessly.

Mongezi Ncaphayi

"The mining, the history, the displacement and the migration, these are all issues translated into abstraction." Mongezi Ncaphayi. 

Mongezi Ncaphayi was born in 1983 in Benoni in Eastern Gauteng, South Africa, where he currently lives and works. Following his graduation with a Diploma in Art and Design from the Ekurhuleni East College-Benoni in 2005, Ncaphayi completed a Professional Printmaking Course at Artist Proof Studio in 2008. In 2012, Ncaphayi obtained a Certificate in Advanced Studies from School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA. Notably, in 2013, Ncaphayi was the recipient of the prestigious Absa L’atelier Gerard Sekoto Award, earning him a three-month residency at the Cite Des Arts in Paris, France. In 2011, Ncaphayi received the Ampersand Foundation Fellowship in New York City, USA, while, in 2016, he was awarded a grant from the Prince Claus Fund Grant in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Most recently, Ncaphayi was awarded the Africa First Art Prize at the 2019 Investec Cape Town Art Fair – which will culminate in a solo presentation at the 2020 Investec Cape Town Art Fair. Selected artist-in-residency programmes include: The Atelier le Grand Village Residency in Angouleme, France, in 2014 and the Thami Manyele Foundation Residency in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2016.

Ncaphayi’s work is included in a number of important collections, including: Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), Manchester, USA; School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMF...

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SMAC Gallery

SMAC gallery was established in 2007 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Since it’s inception, SMAC has focused on presenting the work of emerging and mid-career South African artists, as well as established international artists.

The gallery expanded to its current flagship space in Woodstock, Cape Town, in 2014 and opened a third space in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016. In addition to its contemporary programme, the gallery regularly presents large-scale historical exhibitions and projects that offer a critical re-evaluation of South African art history within a global dialogue.

The gallery’s art fair participation includes The Armory Show, artmonte-carlo, Artissima, Art Brussels and Miart.

1st Floor, The Palms
145 Sir Lowry Road
T: +27 (0)21 461 1029

1st Floor, The Trumpet
19 Keyes Avenue
T: +27 (0)10 594 5400

1st Floor, De Wet Centre
Church Street
T: +27 (0)21 887 3607

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Curated by SMAC Gallery

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