cardboard and Laminated Hessian
CM H 190 W 176
IN H 74.8 W 69.29Signed by artist
His works, with their careful repetition and telling titles, are a merger of art and protest. His meticulous use of unorthodox materials evidence a strong political undercurrent throughout his practice.
“It is notoriously difficult to hit a moving target, for this device is, by its very nature, meant to challenge or even escape our reach. Whether it is understood as something that deliberately moves while someone is trying to hit it, or as an idea or situation that constantly changes while one is trying to make sense of it, a moving target defies easy access and full control. As the title to this exhibition of his most recent body of work, Mapondera is exploring his own experience of moving targets and the impact they have on the psyche of the Zimbabwean population. This is a critical return to a fraught socio-political environment, for Mapondera’s work engages with his home country and the governmental turmoil and financial instability Zimbabwean citizens face on a daily basis,” writes Ernst van der Wal.
Wallen Mapondera was born in 1985 in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates work through painting, drawing, sculpture and installation.
He is best known for his complex wall sculptures which create richly tessellated abstract surfaces out of cardboard and textiles. These works challenge the linearity of time and history, transfiguring ordinary materials into precious, textured visual puzzles. The artist also paints surreal, unnerving dreamscapes, combining animals with domestic objects, using the deep-rooted cultural psychology of the human-animal relationship to evoke social and political themes of power, domination, hierarchies and corruption.
Wallen Mapondera received formal art training from Zimbabwe’s National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design from 2005 to 2007. He was selected in 2007, for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Artist-in-Residence Programme, hosted at the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design Studios in Mbare, Harare. The residency culminated in his first solo exhibition, titled MAZUVA OSE (Everyday), held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare in 2008. Mapondera has since held multiple solo shows and participated in various local and international art fairs and group exhibitions. In 2015, he was the recipient of Zimbabwe’s prestigious National Arts Merit Award – in the Visual Arts Two-Dimensional Work category – given by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in recognition of outstanding achievements in arts and culture.
In 2019 Mapondera has been included in SMAC Galler...Read more
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.
SMAC GALLERY, CAPE TOWN
1st Floor, The Palms
145 Sir Lowry Road
T: +27 (0)21 461 1029
SMAC GALLERY, JOHANNESBURG
1st Floor, The Trumpet
19 Keyes Avenue
T: +27 (0)10 594 5400
SMAC GALLERY, STELLENBOSCH
1st Floor, De Wet Centre
T: +27 (0)21 887 3607