Wallen Mapondera, Melting Target I, 2019, Mixed Media
Courtesy of the artist and SMAC
SMAC gallery was established in 2007 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Since it’s inception, SMAC has focused on presenting the work of emerging and mid-career South African artists, as well as established international artists. The gallery expanded to its current flagship space in Woodstock, Cape Town, in 2014 and opened a third space in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016. In addition to its contemporary programme, the gallery regularly presents large-scale historical exhibitions and projects that offer a critical re-evaluation of South African art history within a global dialogue.
The gallery’s art fair participation includes The Armory Show, artmonte-carlo, Artissima, Art Brussels and Miart.
Leonce Raphael Agobdjélou
Barend De Wet
Wallen Mapondera was born in 1985 in Harare, Zimbabwe, and is currently completing a Master in Fine Arts Degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown,
South Africa. He received formal art training from Zimbabwe’s National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design from 2005 to 2007. He was selected in 2007,
for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Artist-in-Residence Programme, hosted at the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design Studios in Mbare, Harare.
The residency culminated in his first solo exhibition, titled MAZUVA OSE (Everyday), presented at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare in 2008. In
2015, he was the recipient of Zimbabwe’s prestigious National Arts Merit Award – in the Visual Arts Two-Dimensional Work category – given by the National
Arts Council of Zimbabwe in recognition of outstanding achievements in arts and culture. During 2016, he was named as a winner of the AIR (Artist-In-
Residency) Award Laureate, awarded by the African Centre, and he subsequently took up residency at the Kuona Trust in Nairobi, Kenya. Mapondera was
awarded the Pro Helvetia Studio Residency in Switzerland for 2018, where he explored the presence of African food culture in Switzerland.
Most recently, Mapondera’s work was included in Five Bhobh: Painting at the End of an Era at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa.
Solo exhibitions include: Moving Target, at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2019; Emergency Exit with Tyburn Gallery in London, UK, in 2018;
Tsananguro/Clarifications at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town in 2017; Paint My Tea Pot, at Tafaria Castle in Kenya, in 2016; Social Zoometry at Gallery Delta in
Harare, Zimbabwe in 2014; Ani-Man (a human in an animal) at the Association for Visual Arts Gallery (AVA) in Cape Town, South Africa in 2013; and Turning
Tables at the Red Mill Gallery in Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, USA in 2012.
Notable group exhibitions include: Familiar Histories: An Unstoppable Force in Contemporary Art Discourse, curated by Raphael Chikukwa, at the National
Gallery of Zimbabwe, in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2017; X: Part III and Nothing Personal both at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2017 and 2016
respectively; Suddenly A Dissident (by Guns and Rain) at the Point of Order Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016; Between the Sheets at Gallery East
in Fremantle, Australia in 2012; Colour Africa, Zeitgenössische Kunst Aus Simbabwe at Kulturallmende gUG in Munich, Germany in 2011; as well as African
Expressions at the University of Avignon in Avignon, France in 2010. Mapondera has also participated in multiple group exhibitions in Zimbabwe since 2006.
He has exhibited work at Untitled, Miami with Tyburn Gallery at the end of 2018; 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London with SMAC Gallery in 2017
and 2019, as well as the Investec Cape Town Art Fair and the FNB Joburg Art Fair with SMAC Gallery in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Most recently, his work was
included in SMAC’s presentation at Artissima in November 2019.