Nandipha Mntambo


Ukungenisa 2008, Film still,

Europa (detail)

Europa (detail) 2008, archival ink on cotton rag paper,

The Rape of Europa

The Rape of Europa 2009, photographic composite, 100 x 100cm

Emabutfo and Nandikeshvara installation view

Emabutfo and Nandikeshvara installation view 2009, cowhide, resin, dimensions variable


uMcedo 2009, cows' tails, wood, Approx 320 x 335 x 150 cm


Refuge 2009, cowhide, resin, polyester mesh, dimensions variable

Current Review(s)

'The Encounter'

Nandipha Mntambo at STEVENSON in Cape Town

I’ve always been a fan of Nandipha Mntambo’s ghostly, hovering cowhide figures; Silence and Dreams (2008) on the Stevenson ‘Summer 08’ show was particularly haunting. With ‘Encounter’, I was a little concerned, like Robert Sloon on his blog, ArtHeat, that the artist might have exhausted the bovine metaphor. If anything though, the opposite turned out to true.

‘The Encounter’, sees Mntambo expanding her references from Southern African ones to include the Greek myths of Europa, Zeus and the Minotaur as well as the sport of bullfighting and the Hindu legend of Nandi the bull. She simultaneously expands her media to include not only installation, but photographic prints, bronze sculpture and video. It’s an ambitious show. As with all ambitious shows, there are some triumphs and some casualties.

16 April 2009 - 30 May 2009

'Life Less Ordinary' at Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham

Athi-Patra Ruga, Berni Searle, Pieter Hugo, Zanele Muholi and Nandipha Mntambo at Djanogly Art Gallery

While thematic constructs such as ‘identity’ and ‘performance’ are familiar paradigms within the South African art circuit, often even fatigued, the rise of racialised nationalism in the UK and Europe (witness the 'immigration' policies of the British National Party and Italy's Lega Nord) gives the Djanogly Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, 'A Life Less Ordinary', a politically incisive edge.

Curator Anna Douglas takes her conceptual cue from a seminal essay by Ash Amin on today’s charged politics of difference. Aptly titled 'The Racialisation of Everything', Amin’s essay explores how racial categorisation is founded on ‘fictions of difference made to count as the irreconcilables of essence, sometimes justified on grounds of biological difference, sometimes on grounds of so-called cultural incompatibility’. With its focus on contemporary South African art, the exhibition explores personal fictions set in dialogue with some of identity’s grandest narratives. The resultant conversations are at turns satirical and subversive, interrogative and whimsical.

05 September 2009 - 15 November 2009


'The Encounter'

Nandipha Mntambo at STEVENSON in Cape Town

Nandipha Mntambo exhibits concurrently, showing installations using her trademark cowhide as well as bronze sculpture, video and prints. The work expands Mntambo's concerns to include meditations on bullfighting, classical mythology and the Hindu legend of Nandi the bull.

Opens: April 16
Closes: May 30

16 April 2009 - 30 May 2009

Hautnah: Hair in art and culture in Leonberg

Nandipha Mntambo at Galerieverein Leonberg

'Hautnah: Hair in art and culture' curated by Dr. Stefanie Dathe, was previously exhibited at museum 'Villa Rot' in Burgrieden-Rot. 

Exhibiting artists include Yael Davids (Israel), Barbara E. Geyer (Liechtenstein), Herlinde Koelbl (Germany), Sekyung Lee (South Korea), Ulrike Lienbacher (Austria), Ruth Marten (USA) Jenny Michel/Michael Hoepfel (Germany), Nandipha Mntambo (Swaziland), Mandana Moghaddam (Iran), Mariella Mosler (Germany), Ursula Neugebauer (Germany), Chrystl Rijkeboer (Netherlands), Günter Weseler (Germany) and Bettina Zachow (Germany).

14 March 2010 - 25 April 2010

'Life Less Ordinary' at Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham

Athi-Patra Ruga, Berni Searle, Pieter Hugo, Zanele Muholi and Nandipha Mntambo at Djanogly Art Gallery

'Life Less Ordinary' considers fictions of categorization and difference - be it the idea of race, nationhood, ethnicity, sexuality, religion or belonging -explored by a range of contemporary artists from South Africa.

This exhibition brings together works of photography, performance, film and installation by a younger generation wishing to shake loose from the epic narrative of race to play with, stage, transcend, celebrate and deconstruct more complex and nuanced subjectivities.

Artists include Pieter Hugo, Zanele Muholi, Nandipha Mntambo, Steven Cohen, Dineo Bopape, Berni Searle and Andrew Putter.

05 September 2009 - 15 November 2009

Nandipha Mntambo on 'Hautnah: Hair in art and culture '

Nandipha Mntambo at Museum Villa Rot

In all cultures of the world hair has an important significance. Its decorative and symbolic function is the representation of gender, status and group affiliation.  As an outward physical feature, hair is closely linked with religious and socio-cultural fashion, values and norms. Hair represents vitality and fertility. It bears witness to ideals of beauty, demonstrative protest and used the identity transformation. The sight of it triggers feelings of shame and disgust, fascination, desire, lust.

‘Hautnah’ the exhibition shows works by international artists who are, in a variety of expressions and processing forms, dealing with the hair as body jewellery, symbol and material.

Artists included on the exhibition are Bettina Zachow, Ruth Marten, Mandana Moghaddam and Nandipha Mntambo amongst others.


25 October 2009 - 31 October 2009

'ARS 11'

Mary Sibande, Pieter Hugo, Steven Cohen, Kudzanai Chiurai, Nandipha Mntambo and Andrew Putter at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

'ARS 11' is a major international art event filling Helsinki's Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art with artworks, performances, screenings, discussions and workshops, and extending to eight cities in Finland as well as to Stockholm, Sweden. Investigating Africa in contemporary art, the exhibition includes not only artists living in Africa, but also those who live outside the continent; artists of African descent as well as Western artists who address African issues in their work. The exhibition features some 300 works by a total of 30 artists, including Mary Sibande, Kudzanai Chiurai, Nandipha Mntambo, Andrew Putter, Steven Cohen and Pieter Hugo.

15 April 2011 - 27 November 2011