6 March - 26 April 2008
Michael Stevenson is pleased to present Nicholas Hlobo's second solo exhibition at the gallery. His previous show, Izele, took place in August 2006.
In this exhibition, titled Kwatsityw'iziko, Hlobo brings new clarity to his explorations of his favourite themes - chief among them sex, and specifically gay sex, subjected to the interpretations and innuendo of Xhosa metaphor. He also brings a new scale to his engagement with his signature materials, which include rubber inner tubing, silicone, thread and ribbons, frequently applied to found, modified props.
Hlobo has drawn analogies between delivering a child and creating a sculpture in previous work, and he extends this metaphor in Kwatsityw'iziko. Where Izele meant giving birth, Kwatsityw'iziko looks at the process leading up to the point where new life enters existence. It literally translates as 'crossing the hearth', a phrase that has its origin in traditional Xhosa architecture, where to approach one's spouse's bed one had to walk across the centre of the room, where the hearth was located. It is now used in a less literal sense to describe initiating sex in wedlock. In Hlobo's world of metaphor, however, the phrase also describes the creative process. For example, the title of a large paper drawing that incorporates iPod headphones, Phulaphulani, means 'Listen', with connotations of 'pay attention to detail' and 'deconstruct' - a central element in Hlobo's practice. Also on exhibition is Hlobo's 'visual diary, a large stretch of cloth which functioned as a studio notebook documenting his thought processes during the making of this show.
Since Izele in 2006, Hlobo has had solo exhibitions at Extraspazio, Rome; the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia; and the Aardklop festival in Potchefstroom. He is one of the artists selected for Flow, a survey show of young African art at the Studio Museum in Harlem, opening 2 April 2008, and in July 2008 he will present a new solo project at the ICA Boston as part of their Momentum series.
The exhibition opens on Thursday 6 March, 6-8pm, and closes on Saturday 26 April. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 1pm.
Hlobo will give a public walkabout of his exhibition on Friday 7 March at 11am. All are welcome.
For more information contact +27 (0)21 421 2575 or fax +27 (0)21 421 2578 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2008 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.