Terence Maluleke’s solo exhibition, Grace in Grand-Bassam, is now on view at Southern Guild in Cape Town from October 26th to November 16th, 2023. The show features a series of acrylic paintings that explore the human body, communal life, and the joy and pride of the contemporary Black experience.
Maluleke works from his studio in August House in Johannesburg’s inner city, home to a multitude of creative workspaces belonging to the city’s Black vanguard. He has exhibited at the Latitudes Art Fair in Johannesburg and in group shows at Kalashnikovv Gallery and Bkhz.
Grace in Grand-Bassam will be Maluleke’s first solo presentation at Southern Guild, and was inspired by an artist residency at La Fourchette de Rōze in Côte d’Ivoire.
Maluleke, who was born in 1995 and raised in Soweto, draws inspiration from his township community. In 2022, the artist co-founded Kasi Sketchbook, a non-profit project that offers drawing clubs to children and young adults in Johannesburg’s townships.
Soweto (South-Western Townships) is a group of Black African townships located southwest of Johannesburg that were created in the 1930s by the South African white government. In 1976 riots against the use of Afrikaans in schools spurred Soweto to become a symbol against apartheid.
Maluleke’s paintings in Grace in Grand-Bassam are a response to his month-long residency at La Fourchette de Rōze, a coastal town on the outskirts of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Visiting the country for the first time, unable to speak the language, and with little access to the internet, Maluleke felt a strange sense of familiarity when encountering the local community.
Maluleke’s paintings are colorful and detailed. He often uses bold shapes and intricate details to create a sense of movement and energy. His paintings often feature the human body, such as dancing figures, soccer players, and a man praying. He also includes fragments of nature, such as calla lilies and stars. His paintings are full of joy, pride, celebration, and ritual.
The humble plastic jelly sandal—known locally as “lêkê”—is a ubiquitous motif throughout the series. Maluleke describes its “democratising” effect—worn and shared freely, the property of one and all.
The paintings capture the energy and dynamism of the Ivorian people while also hinting at the underlying tensions and contradictions of the country. Maluleke’s use of color is particularly striking, with bold hues that seem to vibrate off the canvas. The figures in his paintings are often fragmented or distorted, suggesting the ways in which identity is constantly shifting and changing.
Terence Maluleke ‘Grace in Grand-Bassam’ | Oct 26 – Nov 16 | Southern Guild, Silo 5, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
La Fourchette de Rōze in Côte d’Ivoire
In Côte d’Ivoire, celebrity chef Roze Traore created a new blend of art, food, and hospitality. His all-inclusive artist residency, which launched in January 2023, provides accommodation, studio space, food, artist materials, and transportation for three artists at a time at his hotel, La Fourchette de Rōze.
Traore is particularly interested in supporting artists working in Africa. The inaugural trio—Terence Ntsako, David Olatoye, and Victor Olaoye—hail from South Africa and Nigeria. They were personally invited by Traore and stayed at the hotel until late April. Three new artists will join the program on a rolling basis until Traore opens the residency up to applicants.
The project stems from both Traore’s life-long personal interest in art as well as his desire to develop a hub for African creatives. He is passionate about bringing together artists from different countries and cultures.
As he said to Vogue, “They don’t make it easy for brothers and sisters to know each other’s culture. One of the artists has never been to Ivory Coast and the other two have never been to South Africa. I just find it beautiful to have all these different minds in the same room and connecting.”
August House in Johannesburg
Maluleke works from his studio in August House, a creative hub in Johannesburg’s inner city known to the locals as ‘The Artists’ Playground.’ August House is a five-story building that houses over 40 independent, pan-African contemporary artists in private studios.
The building was originally a light industrial warehouse, but it was converted into an artist’s space in 2006 by Bie Venter and Maria Svane. Since then, it has become a well-established community for local and international contemporary African artists.
In 2016, the building was sold and underwent a renovation that created more formal studio spaces for young up-and-coming artists. Today, August House is home to a diverse group of artists working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, and video.
In addition to providing studio space, August House also offers a variety of programs and events for artists, including workshops, lectures, and exhibitions. The META Foundation, a non-profit organization, runs these programs with the goal of supporting and developing the artists and the visual arts industry as a whole.
August House is a vibrant and exciting space that is constantly evolving. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in contemporary African art. You can visit during their monthly open studios.
August House Open Studios in October
August House Open Studios is a unique opportunity to explore the visual arts and hear directly from the artists. The event will take place on Sunday, October 29, 2023, and will feature over 30 artists, two group exhibitions, two solo exhibitions, an interactive kids area, food and beverages, and a shuttle service from underground parking. Tickets are R30 for adults and free for children under the age of 15.
The event will provide a glimpse into the creative process and allow guests to connect with the artists behind the work. The interactive kids area will provide hours of entertainment for the little ones, while the food and beverages will keep everyone fueled throughout the day.
The shuttle service will make it easy to get to and from the event with free parking at Access City, and the two group exhibitions and two solo exhibitions will showcase the work of a wide range of artists.
Open Studios Joburg
The META Foundation’s Open Studios Joburg takes place at the end of May and provides an opportunity to explore the city’s vibrant art scene and meet the artists who are shaping it.
The hop-on hop-off shuttle service takes visitors to over 100 studios, where they can see the latest works in progress and chat with the artists themselves. It’s a great way to get a sense of the city’s creative energy.
Whether you’re a seasoned art collector or just curious about the local scene, Open Studios Joburg is a great way to spend a day in Johannesburg.
You can read about the 2023 edition from Bonginkosi Tiwane in his The Citizen article, Open Studios makes art accessible in the heart of Joburg:
“Open Studios Joburg is bridging the gap between the creator and the consumer of art, by making art accessible through its festival in the inner city. The event takes place on the last weekend of May for two days, and will see art lovers going to the various art studios in the CBD to view works by Joburg-based artists.”
Open Studios Joburg | End of May 2024 | Johannesburg, South Africa | Tickets – Not Available Yet