Matereality presents a survey of emerging and established artists in the 21st century who use particular media in deliberate, surprising and innovative ways. While focused primarily on South African art, it also highlights some examples from the rest of the continent.

A work of art can never be separated from its physical material and this inescapable truth has been subject to investigation for a long time. Contemporary artists are continuing this exploration in new, exciting and, often, urgent ways that lend insight into their reality, and, in turn, challenge traditional notions around what materials are suited to art-making.

In a time of mass production and consumption, mixed media artists are the ultimate recyclers, living in a world of endless art supplies and possibilities. The works in this exhibition will give a sense of some of the approaches explored. Some artists employ industrial materials and methods, while others adopt craft skills, or put throwaway consumer products to new uses. In other cases, artists use the more traditional materials in pioneering ways.

Matereality unpacks how artists have used materials, whether directly or indirectly, to raise questions about larger societal concerns. The exhibition depicts, among many realities, climate and environmental issues, consumerism, technology, globalisation, xenophobia, migration, religion, beauty, gender, sexuality, and politics. In an increasingly digitised world, honouring the materiality and physicality of a work is also a return to the tangible and real.

The imaginative use of materials reminds us that in a time of increasing ecological challenges and decreasing resources, it is even more important than ever for us to reimagine and re-contextualise the material world around us.



Featured artists

Aaron Samuel Mulenga

Akudzwe Elsie Chiwa

Alexandra Karakashian

Amy Rusch

Athi Patra Ruga

Bert Pauw

Billie Zangewa

Patrick Bongoy

Bronwyn Katz

Buhlebezwe Siwani

Bulumko Mbete

Carolyn Parton

Chris Soal

Cyrus Kabiru

Daniel Halter

David Brits

Dominique Edwards

Elias Sime

Turiya Magadlela

Frances Goodman

Francois Knoetze

Gabrielle Kruger

Gerald Machona

Igshaan Adams

Inga Somdyala

Jill Joubert

Jody Paulsen

Jake Singer

Kresiah Mukwazhi

Laurence Lemoana

Liza Grobler

Lyndi Sales

Mabunda Gonḉalo

Ibrahim Mahama

Michael MacGarry

Masimba Hwati

Maurice Mbikayi

Mawande Ka Zenzile

Mia Chaplin

Moffat Takadiwa

Mounir Fatmi

Nandipha Mntambo

Nicholas Hlobo

Nobukho Nqaba

Pascale Tayou

Pierrѐ Fouche

Pierre Vermeulen

Sandile Zulu

Serge Attukwei Clottey

Siwa Mgoboza

Stephanѐ Conradie

Usha Seejarim

Wallen Mapondera

Willie Bester