Moshekwa Langa

Moshekwa Langa

Nov 26, 2022 – Jan 21, 2023


Nov 26, 3 pm–7 pm


Rua Jardim Botânico 971,
Rio de Janeiro



Press Release (PT)

Press Release (EN)

“I make things that reflect my life and sometimes I make things that reflect other people’s lives and other stories and anecdotes and other things that I find compelling, and sometimes I pull from theater and I don’t write theater and I don’t perform particularly, but I borrow elements from all of those”. — Moshekwa Langa, 2016


Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel is proud to present an exhibition of new works by Moshekwa Langa at Carpintaria, Rio de Janeiro. This is the artist’s first solo show in Brazil, comprising two large collages and a group of medium and small format paintings on paper. Born in Bakenberg in 1975, Langa is one of the most prominent artists to emerge in post-apartheid South Africa and has described his multidisciplinary practice as a process involving memories of the territories of his childhood.


Langa’s paintings on paper are built over time, combining seemingly heterogeneous materials such as lacquer, coffee, pigments, found papers, and more. Swaths of rich color result from the pooling of paint on the work’s surface, as Langa allows the material to accrue until the paper is left dense and rugged. Chance and improvisation are welcomed in the artist’s creative process, as deliberate choices are layered over accidental marks. The final compositions are densely textured and suggest imagined topographies and fleeting memories.


Collage is also constitutive of Langa’s practice and allows for free-form association of different elements, culled from the artist’s own research and travels, establishing tensions between personal histories and collective experience. In Proximities (2017) and Tonsils / Manwe uwe Buela Bitseng [Verbal cure] (2017), two large-format collages, the artist juxtaposes elements such as boxer Mike Tyson’s face, domestic utensils and his own abstract interventions. The relations between these fragments and the accumulation of colorful traces are left open-ended, as the imperfect links between the parts of the collage suggest a mapping of information and knowledge, as well as patterns of migration and segregation.


The artist’s dealing with residual materials can be likened to the uncertainties and ambiguities of his own history. Born in a rural apartheid-era “Homeland”[1] not included on the maps he encountered in his youth, Langa actively traces his own autobiography in his work, reconstituting his lived experience. Through this process, incomplete gestures built from remnants and debris are synthesized into reconstructed moments that contend with the often mercurial qualities of meaning.


Moshekwa Langa’s work rose to international prominence from the late 1990s onwards. The artist participated in several of the world’s largest art biennials, including Johannesburg (1997), Istanbul (1997), Havana (1997), São Paulo (1998 and 2010), Gwangju (2000), Venice (2003 and 2009) and Lyon (2011). Among his recent individual exhibitions are Moshekwa Langa, KM21, Den Haag, Holland (2022); The Sweets of Sin, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York (2021) and Fugitive, Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa (2017). He also participated in the group show A Clearing in the Forest (2022), at Tate Modern in London.


Special thanks to STEVENSON and Andrew Kreps Gallery, who represent Moshekwa Langa in South Africa and New York, respectively.





[1]“Homelands” were territories that the National Party administration of South Africa set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa (Now Namibia) as part of its policy of apartheid.


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