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Gutu-born painter Kudzi Hwami to exhibit at London’s Victoria Miro

LONDON. – TOP UK art gallery Victoria Miro has announced the representation of Kudzanai-Violet Hwami.

A new work by the painter will feature in Victoria Miro’s online exhibition as part of the Reprieve Collective on Vortic Collect, which launches 10th December to mark Human Rights Day. The artist’s first exhibition with the gallery will be held in summer 2021.

Now living in the UK, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami was born in Gutu, Zimbabwe in 1993 and lived in South Africa from the ages of nine to seventeen. Her work reveals a deeply personal vision of Southern African life.

Drawing on her experiences of geographical dislocation and displacement, her paintings combine visual fragments from a myriad of sources such as online images and personal photographs, which collapse past and present.

Many of her paintings feature self-portraits and images of her immediate and extended family. Powerful nudes are another point of departure, boldly raising questions about the black body and its representation, as well as sexuality, gender and spirituality.

Her influences include music, such as Zim Heavy and Afrobeats; and literature, including the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Carl Jung.

Her process involves experimenting with photography and digitally collaged images, using these to create large works on paper or canvas in combination with intensely pigmented oil paint, and often incorporating other media and techniques, such as silkscreen, pastel or charcoal.

Speaking about her work the artist says, ‘With the collapsing of geography and time and space, no longer am I confined in a singular society but simultaneously I am experiencing Zimbabwe and South Africa and the UK, in my mind. I’m in the UK, but I carry those places with me everywhere I go.’

She was included in the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, her first solo institutional exhibition was held at Gasworks, London, also in 2019, and in 2020 she featured in the Victoria Miro group exhibition I See You.

Victoria Miro said, ‘Violet is one of the most extraordinary young voices to have emerged in contemporary painting in recent years. Her highly personal approach results in a freshness of vision and a sense of intimacy in her works that are at once exuberant, tender and socially incisive, and I am very excited to be working together.’

Born in Gutu, Zimbabwe in 1993, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami currently lives and works in the UK and is completing an MFA at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University.

In 2016, the same year she graduated from Wimbledon College of Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she was awarded the Clyde & Co. Award and the Young Achiever of the Year Award at the Zimbabwean International Women’s Awards, as well as being shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries.

In 2017, Tyburn Gallery, London, held a solo exhibition of Hwami’s work entitled If You Keep Going South You’ll Meet Yourself. In 2019, Hwami presented work at the 58th Venice Biennale as part of the Zimbabwe Pavilion, the youngest artist to participate in the Biennale.

Also in 2019, Hwami mounted her first institutional solo exhibition, (15,952km) via Trans – Sahara Hwy N1 at Gasworks, London.

Recent group exhibitions include Les Ateliers de Rennes – Biennale d’Art Contemporain, Rennes, France (2018); Five Bhobh – Painting at the End of an Era, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2018); Vos désirs sont les nôtres, Triangle France, Marseille, France (2018); Talisman in the Age of Difference, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2018); Ladies by Ladies, Espace Art Absolument, Paris, France (2018); Afriques: artistes d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, Fondation Clément, Martinique (2018); Discoloured Margins, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe (2017); and I SEE YOU, Victoria Miro, London, UK (2020).

Forthcoming group exhibitions include The Power of My Hands, curated by Suzanna Sousa and Odile Burluraux, at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (opening January 2021) and Ubuntu: A Lucid Dream, curated by Marie-Ann Yemsi, at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (opening June 2021).

Her work is in collections including Jorge Perez Museum, Miami, USA, Kadist Foundation, Paris, France, Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa. – FAD Magazine ■

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