Nicholas Hlobo, South African Artist Joins Lehmann Maupin


Nicholas Hlobo, one of South Africa’s leading contemporary artists, has joined the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, which is based in New York City. Hlobo uses art to investigate issues of “identity, sexuality, gender, and class in the context of his South African heritage,” according to the

Hlobo was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and received a Fine Arts degree from Johannesburg’s Technikon Witwatersran in 2002. Since then, Hlobo has become renowned for his intricate creations.

A member of the Xhosa people, Hlobo creates art that is rooted in his South African background. Materials play an integral role in Hlobo’s multi-disciplinary practice, which includes painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, works on paper and video installation.

Hlobo has a preference for tactile materials, such as ribbon, leather, wood, and rubber. The celebrated artist explores the ability to transform these raw materials and their symbolic power.

Rachel Lehmann, co-founder of the Lehman Maupin Gallery, expressed her opinion on Hlobo’s work, saying:

“Nicholas Hlobo is a fantastic artist with incredible international recognition. Like a poet, he is exploring the in between places that are difficult to define – such as the area between male and female, between white, gray, and black. The themes he addresses of nationality, race, gender, sexuality, and identity are all strongly engaged with Lehmann Maupin’s programming and have ties to the work of Kader Attia, Robin Rhode, Mickalene Thomas, and Adriana Varejão.”

The artist’s first show with Lehmann Maupin is scheduled for 2016.

Iimpundulu Zonke Ziyandilandela (All the Lightning Birds Are After Me). Piece by Nicholas Hlobo. (Photo:

Iimpundulu Zonke Ziyandilandela (All the Lightning Birds Are After Me). Piece by Nicholas Hlobo.

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This post was written by Reginald Calhoun, editorial assistant for the Burton Wire. He is a junior Mass Media Arts major at Clark Atlanta University. Follow him on Twitter @IRMarsean.

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