Maps and territory: Stevenson Gallery presents ’Ellipses’ by Moshekwa Langa
The South African gallery Stevenson is currently hosting the Amsterdam-based artist Moshekwa Langa’s solo exhibition ’Ellipses’ at their Cape Town outpost on 14 April.
Langa’s first solo show with the gallery combines painting, text-based drawing and installation. Since the mid 1990s, he has interrogated land, public and personal politics through mapping. In this new show, he has used materials like masking tape, ink and spray paint as an expression of his diary, revealing his life and his intimacies.
’What am I doing when I make work?’ Langa asks. ’Do I sit down and plan? Do I want to make landscapes? To make things with wool? To make things with threads? Do I want to make things with toys? No, because my interest is sparked by so many different things that it is very, very possible to have more than ten things at once – because they are prompted by different desires and different needs’.
Langa was born in Bakenberg in 1975 and studied at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1997-8. Rising to international prominence in the late 1990s, he was an active participant in what is now considered the golden age of biennales, including those of Johannesburg (1997), Istanbul (1997), Havana (1997), São Paulo (1998 and 2010), Gwangju (2000), Venice (2003 and 2009), and Lyon (2011).
Next up Langa will be showing work spanning nearly two decades with Stevenson at Frieze New York (5-8 May 2016). Then in July, Langa with Joost Bosland (from Stevenson) will organize a group show entitled ’The Quiet Violence of Dreams’, exploring K Sello Duiker’s 2001 novel of the same title and its resonance with visual artists working then and now. The show will take place across Stevenson’s Cape Town and Johannesburg galleries.