top of page

First Major West Coast Exhibition of South African Artist Zanele Muholi Opens at SFMOMA this January

Jan 18–Aug 11, 2024 | (SFMOMA)

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces the first major exhibition on the West Coast of South African artist Zanele Muholi. On view at SFMOMA from January 18–August 11, 2024, Zanele Muholi: Eye Me brings together over 100 of the artist’s photographs from 2002 to the present alongside paintings, sculpture and video. The exhibition provides an opportunity for audiences to experience Muholi’s expansive artistic project to celebrate and make visible their Black queer community in post-Apartheid South Africa.



anele Muholi,Somnyama Ngonyama II, Oslo,2015; courtesy the artist and Yancey Richardson, New York;© Zanele Muholi
Zanele Muholi,Somnyama Ngonyama II, Oslo,2015; courtesy the artist and Yancey Richardson, New York;© Zanele Muholi

A self-described visual activist, Zanele Muholi foregrounds issues of gender identity, representation and race in their work. For Muholi, photography is a formidable tool for resistance and social change. From their early work contending with the dangers of being queer in South Africa to more recent work embracing their own Blackness and gender expression, activism is central to Muholi’s artistic practice.


Muholi’s work calls attention to the violence enacted on queer people while also celebrating their bravery and resilience. With a sense of profound tenderness, Muholi’s portraiture is distinguished by an intimacy that could only be established through trust. The artist sees their subjects as collaborators who partake in the process of creating the images, from the selection of the location to the clothing.



 Zanele Muholi, Thathu I, The Sails, Durban, 2019; collection of Pamela and David Hornik;© Zanele Muholi
Zanele Muholi, Thathu I, The Sails, Durban, 2019; collection of Pamela and David Hornik;© Zanele Muholi


Zanele Muholi: Eye Me is organized by SFMOMA and curated by Shana Lopes, assistant curator of photography, and Erin O'Toole, curator and head of photography, with Sally Martin Katz, curatorial associate, photography.


For More Information, View SFMOMA

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST


Zanele Muholi, born in 1972 in Umlazi (Durban), lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. For over two decades, they have documented the lives of Black LGBTQ+ people in South Africa. After enrolling in the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg to study photography in 2001, Muholi became a mentee of David Goldblatt, the celebrated South African artist who founded the program to train young photographers marginalized by the apartheid system. In 2009, Muholi earned an MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University in Toronto.


SFMOMA was an early supporter of Muholi, and the museum featured works from the series Faces and Phases in the 2011 exhibition Face of Our Time. Their work was also featured in Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, co-organized by SFMOMA and the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in 2014.


Among Muholi’s numerous awards are the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2017); the ICP Infinity Award for Documentary and Photojournalism (2016); Africa'Sout! Courage and Creativity Award (2016); the Fine Prize for an emerging artist at the 2013 Carnegie International; and a Prince Claus Award (2013). Their work has been exhibited in major international exhibitions such as Documenta 13; the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale; and the 29th São Paulo Biennale. Muholi’s solo exhibitions have taken place at institutions including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Autograph ABP, London; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and Casa Africa, Las Palmas.


 

18 views0 comments

Comments