MAY 25 – JUNE 24, 2006
513 WEST 20TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10011
May 25 – June 24, 2006
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 25, 2006, 6-8pm
The Jack Shainman Gallery is proud to present an exhibition by South African artist Zwelethu Mthethwa.
Mthethwa is an internationally recognized photographer whose portraits of men and women in their domestic or work environments are known for containing a strong psychological and narrative charge. Mthethwa’s photographs are created in a scale and composition that establish a confrontation between the subject and the spectator. Drawing from the history of portraiture and photojournalism, Mthethwa’s works often comment on the traditional roles of Black men and their masculinity, and raise consciousness around issues related to post-apartheid South African society.
For his new solo exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery, Mthethwa will present his “Gold Mine Series”, a series of photographs that took two years to complete. The exhibition will also include a black and white video entitled “The Dance of Life”.
In previous years, Mthethwa’s photographs focused on migrant workers in South Africa, first portraying them in their homes and later in their working environment (sugar cane fields). According to the artist, “whereas the Sugar Cane Series dealt with open space and landscape, the Gold Mine Series almost moves back in the direction of the private spaces in that the workers are working in a very confined space and although it is essentially public in that it belongs to the mining company, it is also private because of the limited space and close proximity in which the miners work. Going underground made sense as a way of showing the contrast between inside/outside; private and public/communal.”
For his video, “The Dance of Life”, the artist has found inspiration in Matisse's collage by the same name, and decided to incorporate similar abstract qualities of space, movement and sound. Like in his photograph series, the artist reflects about the duality of spaces: “the first being the physical space that the dancers are moving within and the psychological space created by the changing tempo of the heartbeat."
Zwelethu Mthethwa was born in Durban, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. His work is part of many museum collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the New Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum. His work is currently included in“Snap Judgments”, at ICP and “Africa Remix,” traveling to Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf, Hayward Gallery, London, Pompidou Centre, Paris and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennial, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gwangju Biennale, the 8th Havana Biennial and the Istanbul Biennale. His work was also part of “The Short Century: Independence and Liberation movements in Africa 1945-1994”, curated by Okwui Enwezor.
Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. For additional information and photographic material please contact the gallery at email@example.com.