Andrew Nhlangwini at Gallery Momo
The recent resurgence of painting in SA has seen, as one of its more interesting consequences, the emergence of some strong young black painters. Amongst these are artists as diverse in approach as Colbert Mashile and Kudzanai Chiurai, proving, if any proof were needed, that painting still provides fertile ground for compelling artistic subversion. Add to this list the voice of young artist Andrew Nhlangwini who is currently showing at Momo.
A programme of reclamation underpins this body of work, entitled 'Still Waiting For Our Ancestors and Their Promises', which is an exploration of a pivotal chapter in Xhosa history. The work investigates the circumstances, legend and myth surrounding the prophecies of soothsayer Nonqgawuse, which are said to have led to the great Xhosa cattle killing of 1856 - 57. Nhlangwini employs a painterly approach in these large-scale oils, judiciously borrowing from Guernica-era Picasso in his depiction of animal carnage and consequent human suffering. The (omni)presence of British soldiers in these works makes plain Nhlangwini's assertion that there is significant evidence to suggest British meddling in Xhosa affairs. Nhlangwini's is a strong body of work, and an overdue counterpoint of black representation to the dominance of white artists in the task of rewriting SA history.
Closes: April 10
52 Seventh Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg
Tel: (011) 327 3247
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 5pm