Richard Mudariki: Mutara Wenguva – Time Line

Sanlam Art Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
22 Sep 2017 - 29 Oct 2017

'Richard Mudariki, Illusion of Freedom (2014), oil on canvas, 150.5 x 150.5 cm (Private Collection)'

'Richard Mudariki, Illusion of Freedom (2014), oil on canvas, 150.5 x 150.5 cm (Private Collection)'

A travelling early career retrospective of paintings drawn from private and corporate collections by Zimbabwean born visual artist Richard Mudariki titled ‘Mutara Wenguva – Timeline’ is being hosted in South Africa with the support of the Sanlam Art Collection. The second opening of this exhibition  opens  on Thursday  21 September 2017, a day before the grand public opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, in Cape Town. This follows a successful showing in Sandton, Johannesburg from 22 July 2017.

Mutara Wenguva’ are Shona words that in a literal English translation means ‘line of time’, which in the context of this overview of Mudariki’s practice from 1999 to present , is loosely translated as ‘Timeline’. This exhibition will give a unique opportunity to assess the development of Mudariki’s painting over time and to view new paintings produced exclusively for this exhibition. The exhibition is curated by Stefan Hundt, curator of Sanlam Art Collection and Head of the Sanlam Art Advisory Service and will be officially opened by Executive Chairman of Strauss and Co, Frank Kilbourn .

Representative of a growing impetus towards figuration and social comment in African painting, Mudariki’s  works have been avidly collected in South Africa and has started to attract attention in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. In 2016, Richard was a resident artist at Fountainhead in Miami, USA and in 2018 he returns to America, this time in New York for an eight months residency.

Curator of African Art at Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, Ugochukwu Smooth C.  Nzewi has said of Mudariki:

‘[he] can be described as a painter’s painter who has come of age on his own terms. His work shows a deep understanding of the demands of painting and the symbolism of narratives in addressing the human condition. He offers astute and searing insights on critical issues in Zimbabwe, South Africa and farther afield. In his modernist paintings, we track political satires and gallow  humour that capture how Africa, to a large extent, has remained a dream deferred.’

Art Review Magazine South Africa’s correspondent Matthew Blackman concurs and notes  that:

Richard Mudariki  art stands counter-intuitively both at the centre and the fringes of Southern African contemporary art in particular and its world practice in general. In one manner it is at odds with certain trends that are pervasive within what the South African academy deems to be the core concerns of contemporary art – a modernist approach to painting or the deeply personalized gallery-based unveiling of identity politics and ‘protest’. Indeed his position within South Africa’s art world is a peculiar one.’

Mudariki was born in Chitungwiza,  Zimbabwe and started his practice at a very young age and by his teens his interest in making art led him to make contact with artists and teachers in Harare.  He was astutely advised and he has succeeded in building a career in art ever since.  His immigration to South Africa in 2010 provided him with opportunities and support to launch a full time career in painting.  He exhibits regularly in Cape Town and is showcased at art fairs in South Africa, United States and Europe.

Viewing Times

The exhibition can be viewed at the Sanlam Art Gallery, Sanlam Head Office, 2 Strand Road, Bellville from 22 September – 27 October 2017.  Viewing time are Monday to Friday 9:00 – 16:30.

Other times by appointment.  Entry is free of charge.

Guide Tours

The artist will be presenting tours of the exhibition on the following days:


Friday, 29 September @ 13:00 • Wednesday, 11 October @ 13:00

Thursday, 9 October @ 13:00 • Tuesday, 24 October @ 13:00





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