The Jean Pigozzi African Art Collection

Nandipha Mntambo

Born in Swaziland, Southern Africa, in 1982

Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mntambo graduated with a Masters in Fine Art (with distinction) from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, in 2007. She won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art in 2011, for which she produced the national travelling exhibition Faena.

Mntambo's work focuses on the human body and the organic nature of identity, using mainly natural materials and experimenting with sculptures, videos and photography. One of her favourite materials is the skin of the cow, often also used as a covering for human bodies - boneless sculptures - and thus oscillating between evoking the garments that can be shod at will and the bodies that once contained living, breathing, masticating beings with four stomachs. Mntambo embraces this ambiguity and likes to play with the tension between the sightly and the unsightly by manipulating how her viewers negotiate the two aspects of the hide.

She states:

"My intention is to explore the physical and tactile properties of hide and aspects of control that allow or prevent me from manipulating this material in the context of the female body and contemporary art. I have used cowhide as a means to subvert expected associations with corporeal presence, femininity, sexuality and vulnerability. The work I create seeks to challenge and subvert preconceptions regarding representation of the female body."

"Themes of confrontation, protection and refuge play out particularly in relation to inner conflicts and to notions of self-love/hatred. The bronze, Sengifikile, uses my own features as a foundation, but takes on the guise of a bull. Referencing the head-and-shoulder busts of the Renaissance tradition I challenge male and female roles in society and expected associations with femininity, sexuality and vulnerability."



Sikhala, Galerie Andrehn-Schiptjenko, Paris, France


The snake you left inside me, Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa

Material Value, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa


Love and its companions, Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm, Sweden

Metamorphoses, Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa


Transience, Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa


Nandipha Mntambo, Inaugural Exhibition, Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

Nandipha Mntambo, Andrehn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm, Sweden


Faena, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein; Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg; University of Potchefstroom Art Gallery, South Africa

The Unspoken, Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa


Faena, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth; Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Durban Art Gallery, South Africa


Umphatsi Wemphi, Brodie/Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Encounter, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa


Ingabisa, Michael Stevenson

Gallery, Cape Town


Locating me in order to see you (Master's exhibition), Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town



Speculative Inquiry #1 (On abstraction),Michaelis Galleries,Cape Town, South Africa

IncarNations: African Art as Philosophy,BOZAR Centre for Arts,Brussels, Belgium

Personal Structures –Identities,European Cultural Center -Italy,Venice, Italy

Made Visible: Contemporary South African Fashion and Identity,Museum of Fine Arts Boston,USA


City Deep,The Centre for the Less Good Idea,Johannesburg, South Africa

Dance Africa Festival,Brooklyn Academy of Music, USA

Beyond Borders: Global Africa,University of Michigan Museum of Art, USA

Both, and,Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

Norval Sculpture Garden, Norval Foundation,Tokai, South Africa

Sculpture,Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Port Louis, Mauritius

Not A Single Story, Nirox Winter Sculpture Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa


Nandipha Mntambo and Per B Sundberg, Galerie Hervé van der Straeten, Paris, France

Afrique Capitales, La Vilette/Paris, France

When the Heavens Meet the Earth: Selected Works from the Sina Jina Collection of Contemporary Art, Heong Gallery, Downing College, Cambridge, UK

Jaguars and Electric Eels, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin, Germany

Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel

The Future is Female, 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, USA


Dak’Art, 12th Dakar Biennale, Senegal

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA; Fowler Museum, UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, Los Angeles, USA


The Film Will Always Be You: South African Artists On Screen, Tate Modern, London, UK

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Seattle Art Museum, USA

What remains is tomorrow,South African Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA

Material Matters: New Art from Africa,Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Port Louis, Mauritius

Barriers: Contemporary South Africa, Wanås Konst, Southern Sweden


Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy: From the Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection, Ethelbert Cooper Gallery, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Performance Now,Queensland University of Technology Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

Chroma, Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

The Danjuma Collection: One Man's Trash (Is Another Man's Treasure), 33 Fitzroy Square, London, UK

From Sitting to Selfie: 300 Years of South African Portraits, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, MMK (Museum für Moderne Kunst), Frankfurt, Germany; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, USA

AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada


A Sculptural Premise,Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

My Joburg, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France

Female Power: Matriarchy, Spirituality and Utopia,Arnhem Museum, Arnhem, the Netherlands

To Be Real–Performance and Performativity,Videonale.14 Elektronenströme, Videonale E.V, IMKunstmuseum Bonn, Germany


The Rainbow Nation, Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague, the Netherlands

3rdMoscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow, Russia

Viewpoint: A Closer Look at Showing, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Mine–A selection of films by SA artists, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


ARS 11 - Change your perception of Africa and contemporary art

Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland

Contemporary South African Artists, Turner Galleries, Perth, Australia

Mine –A selection of films by SA artists, Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany


PEEKABOO: Current South Africa, Tennis Palace Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland

Ampersand, Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, GermanyThe Beauty of Distance: Song of survival in a precarious age, 17thBiennale of Sydney, Australia

SPace: Currencies in contemporary African art, Museum Africa, Newtown, Johannesburg, South Africa

Dak’Art, 9thDakar Biennale, SenegalLife Less Ordinary: Performance and display in South African art,Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales

The Good Old Days, Aarhus Art Building, Denmark

Hautnah: Hair in art and culture, Kunstverein Leonberg, Germany

Toros! Works from the 19th, 20th and 21stcenturies, Galerie Sophie Scheidecker, Paris, France

She Devil, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Rome, Italy


Hautnah: Hair in art and culture,Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden-Rot, Germany

Les Rencontres de Bamako biennial of African photography, Bamako, Mali

Life Less Ordinary: Performance and display in South African art,DjanoglyGallery, Nottingham, UK

La modernité dans l'art africain d'aujourd'hui, Panafrican Cultural Festival of Algiers, Algeria Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Works from the 2008 Dak'art biennale, ifa Gallery, Berlin; Stuttgart, Germany

Number Two: Fragile, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, Germany

Why not?, Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin, Germany

Beauty and Pleasure in South African Contemporary Art, The Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway


Summer 2008/9: Projects, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

Disturbance: Contemporary art from Scandinavia and South Africa, Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa

Disguise, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Dak'art, Dakar Biennale, Senegal

Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA

Skin-to-skin: Challenging textile art, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

.za: giovane arte dal Sudafrica, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy

The Trickster at ArtExtra, Johannesburg, South Africa


Summer 2007/8, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, South Africa

Apartheid: The South African Mirror, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain

Afterlife, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


Olivida quien soy - Erase me from who I am, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas

MTN New Contemporaries, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Second to None, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


In the Making: Materials and Process, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


Curated the Parliamentary Millennium Project (PMP)