Johannes Maswanganye

 

BORN: 1949, in the Msengi village near Giyani, Gazankulu

Maswanganye was drawn into carving by his father who was a carver of functional objects such as spoons and bowls.  Initially Johannes Maswanganye followed his father in making such objects.  However, he also carved medicine gourds and traditional medicine containers with carved wooden stoppers.

The commission of a Soweto witchdoctor directed Maswanganye to create gourds which he then transformed into carved bodies with removable heads as stoppers.  Following the exhibition of these figures on the BMW Tributaries Exhibition in 1985, a wide market opened up which was willing to forget the traditional associations of these figures and to display them as sculptures.

Maswanganye has now moved from the medicine gourds to making larger carved sculptures of figures, animals and biblical pieces, frequently ornamenting them with paint.

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

 

1998    ‘North by Northeast II’ - Group exhibition at Knysna Fine Art, Knysna

1993    Venice Bienalle, Venice, Italy

1993    ‘North by North East’ - Group exhibition at The Everard Read Contemporary Gallery

1991    ‘Town Country’ - Group exhibition at The Everard Read Gallery

1990    ‘Afrika Now’ - Group exhibition at the Sanderling Gallery

            ‘Art from South Africa’ - Group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford and touring England

            Group exhibition, South African Association of Arts, Pretoria

1989    ‘Ten Years of Collecting’ - Group exhibition at the University of the Witwatersrand

            Group exhibition, South African Association of Arts, Pretoria

            ‘Images of Wood’ - Group exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

            ‘Venda’ - Group exhibition at the Sanderling Gallery, Johannesburg

1988    ‘Vita Art Now’ - Group exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

            Group exhibition at the FUBA Gallery, Johannesburg

            ‘Neglected Tradition’ - Group exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

1987    Solo exhibition at the Market Gallery, Johannesburg

            ‘South African Sculptures’ - Group exhibition at the Rand Afrikaans University

            Group exhibition at the Grahamstown Art Festival 

1985    ‘BMW Tributaries’ - Group exhibition touring South Africa and West Germany

   

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

 

University of South Africa

University of the Witwatersrand

Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, United Kingdom

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Africana Museum, Johannesburg

South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Rotterdam Museum, Holland

 

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