Igshaan Adams

Jan-Henri Booyens

Jared Ginsburg

Bronwyn Katz

Dorothee Kreutzfeldt

Donna Kukama

Herman Mbamba

Sabelo Mlangeni

Kyle Morland

Cinga Samson

Gerda Scheepers

James Webb

Pedro Wirz

Billie Zangewa

Billie Zangewa

Billie Zangewa works primarily with raw silk offcuts in intricate hand-stitched collages, creating figurative compositions that explore her intersectional identity in the contemporary context and challenge the historical stereotyping, objectification and exploitation of the black female body. Working in a flat, colourful style, she depicts narratives concerned with experience: both personal and universal. These narratives do not make grand gestures or even overt political statements, but rather focus on mundane domestic preoccupations; universal themes connecting us to each other. Almost always the protagonist in her works, Zangewa becomes a heroine whose daily life is revealed through the scenes she illustrates.

Zangewa has exhibited extensively at institutions both locally and internationally, including at the Norval Foundation (2018), MASS MoCA (2017), Stedelijk Museum (2017), Studio Museum Harlem (2016), Iziko South African National Gallery (2016), Johannesburg Art Gallery (2016), Guggenheim Bilbao (2015), WIELS (2015), La Maison Rouge (2013) and the Menil Collection (2012). Her work is represented in several notable private and public collections, including the Tate Modern, Stedelijk Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art collections. In 2018, Zangewa was selected as the Featured Artist for the FNB Joburg Art Fair.

Born in 1973 in Blantyre, Malawi, Zangewa lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.


curriculum vitae

1973 Born in Blantyre, Malawi



1995 BFA Printmaking Major, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa


selected exhibitions

2019   I Am … Contemporary Women Artists of Africa, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, USA

2019   Mating Birds Vol.2, curated by Gabi Ngcobo with Sumayya Menezes & Zinhle Khumalo, KZNSA Gallery, Durban, South Africa

2018   Soft Power, curated by Julie Crenn, Transpalette, Bourges, France

2018   Second Life, MACAAL, Marrakech, Morroco

2018   Pulling at Threads, Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa

2018  Making Africa, Alburqueque Museum, Alburqueque, New Mexico, USA

2018  Ladies by Ladies, Space Art Absolute, Paris, France

2017   17, blank projects, Cape Town, South Africa

2017   Africa, Raccontare un Mondo, Padiglione de’Arte Contemporanea Milano, Milan, Italy

2017  Et Dieu Crèa la Femme, Maison Guerlain, Paris, France

2017  Essential Landscape, MACAAL, Marrakech, Morocco

2017  Making Africa, Atlanta Museum of High Art, USA

2017  Stedelijk BASE, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands

2017  Et Dieu Crèa la Femme, Maison Guerlain, Paris, France

2017   The Half-Life of Love, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, USA

2017   Frans Masereel and Contemporary Art: Images of Resistance, Mu.ZEE, Ostende, Belgium

2017   Amongst Ourselves, CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium

2017   Lucy’s Iris, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

2017  Back to the Self, Marabouparken Konsthall, Sundbyberg, Sweden

2016    A Constellation, Studio Museum Harlem, New York City

2016   Making Africa, CCCB Barcelona Spain and Kunsthal Rotterdam Netherlands

2016   Lucy’s Iris, curated by Orlando Britto Jinorio. MUSAC Leon, Spain and MDAC Rochechouart, France

2016   Africa forecast: Fashioning Africa, curated by Erika Dayla Massquai, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia

2016   The Substance of Things Not Seen, JAG, South Africa

2016   Women’s Work, Iziko National Gallery of South Africa, Cape Town

2015   Body Talk, curated by Koyo Kouoh, Wiels, Brussels, Belgium; Lunds Kunsthalle, Sweden and Frac Lorraine, France

2015   Odysseys Africaines, curated by Marie-Ann Yemsi, The Brass, Brussels, Belgium

2015   Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Germany, and Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain

2015   Africa, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

2014  How Far How Near, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2013   My Joburg, Maison Rouge, Paris, France and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen  Dresden, Germany

2013   Hollandaise, curated by Koyo Kouoh, Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal

2012   Africa Africa, Abbaye Saint Andre, Centre d’Arts Contemporain, Meymac, France

2012   Progress of Love, curated by Kristina Van Dyke, Menil Collection, Houston, Texas

2012   Hollandaise, SMBA, Amsterdam, Holland

2011   Kaddou Diggen, Curated by Christine Eyene, Galerie Le Manége, Dakar, Senegal

2011   Galerie Hussenot, Curated by Andre Magnin, Paris, France

2011   En Toute Innocence, Subtilités du Corps, curated by Christine Eyene, Galerie Imane Farès, Paris, France

2010   Black Line, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (SOLO)

2010   SPace, Museum Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa

2010   Arte Invisible, curated by Elvira Dyangane Ose, ARCO, Madrid, Spain

2010   Transformations, JAG, Johannesburg, South Africa

2009   Anima Animal, Fondation Blachère, Apt, France

2009   Creativity Meets Science, Spier, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2008   Stitch by Stitch, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (SOLO)

2008   Re/Presentaciones: Ellas, curated by Danielle Tilkin, Casa Africa, Las Palmas, Grand Canaria

2008   Vibrant Exposure, Amaridian Gallery, New York, USA

2007   Untitled, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (SOLO)

2007   Afronism, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007   Social Fabric, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2006   Nie Meer, De Warande Kunsthalle, Turnhout, Belgium

2006   Dak’Art, Dakar Biennale, Senegal

2005   Hot in the City, Gerard Sekoto Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (SOLO)

2004   Aardklop Festival, Absa Top Ten, Potchefstroom, South Africa

1999   Printwork, Rhodes University retrospective, Albany Museum, Grahamstown, South Africa

1997   Artists in Botswana, National Gallery of Botswana, Gaborone

1996   Untitled, Gallery Anne, Gaborone, Botswana


residencies + awards

2018    Featured Artist, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa

2009   Bronx Museum, New York City, USA

2006   Air Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium

2005   Cite International Des Art, Paris, France

2006   Awarded Res’artis residency with Air Antwerpen at the Dak’art Dakar Biannale

2004   Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award

1997   Artists in Botwana Award Printmaking


public collections

Tate London

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Rhodes University Alumni

Johannesburg Art Gallery

SMBA Amsterdam

Spelman Museum of Art, Atlanta Georgia

Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, USA

Reserve Bank of Botswana



2019 Vitamin T: Threads and Textiles in Contemporary Art , Phaidon Press, UK.

2015 Body Talk, RAW Material Company, WIELS, Lunds konsthall, 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine MottoBooks, France (exhibition catalogue)

2015 Africa: Architecture, Culture and Identity, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, USA 2015 Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Germany

2014 Prötocollum 2014/15, Dickersbach Kunstverlag, Germany

2013 The Progress of Love, Yale University Press, USA

2013 Hollandaise, Raw Material Company and SMBA, Senegal

2013 My Joburg, Fage, SA

2011 L’Art Au Feminin: Approches Contemporaines, L’Harmattan, France

2009 Billie Zangewa/Plasticienne, Les éditions de l’Oeil, France

2005 Hot in the City, Afronova, SA (exhibition catalogue)


essays + reviews

2019 Women’s Voices Ring With a Resounding Roar in This New Show, by Roger Caitlin, Smithsonian Mag

2019 Talking textiles with Billie Zangewa, Phaidon

2018 Billie Zangewa’s self in a patchwork of silk, by Nkgopoleng Moloi, Mail&Guardian

2018 Billie Zangewa is proving critics who say feminine art doesn’t sell wrong, by Andrea Nagel, Sunday Times

2018 Q&A with artist Billie Zangewa, by Ruth Cooper, Bizcommunity

2018 FNB Art Fair team prepares to host a brilliant exhibition in Sandton: Joburg-based artist Billie Zangewa will be the featured artist at this year’s art fair, by Laura Pisanello, Sandton Chronicle

2018 Space of pleasure: Billie Zangewa’s ‘The Garden’, by Chad Russouw, Art Throb

2018 Billie Zangewa: Common Thread, by Lili Quin, Visi Magazine

2018 The art aesthete: An interview with Billie Zangewa, by Grethe Kemp, City Press

2018 Billie Zangewa on her sociopolitical silk works, by Rosalind Duguid, Elephant

2017 African artist Billie Zangewa on working with silk, BBC News

2016 Billie Zangewa: Painting the contemporary African woman in silk, , Aduna

2015 Billie Zangewa on expressing her black femininity and being a mother and artist, by Awut Atak, TRUE Africa

2015 Billie Zangewa, Africananah.org

2014 Creative Women: Billie Zangewa, by Jessica Hunkin, Between 10and5

2014 Billie Zangewa’s silkscapes capture Africa’s urban vibes, Brand South Africa

2014 Visual Artist working with Raw Silk – Billie Zangewa, SA CREATIVES

2012 Billie Zangewa: Drawing with Fabric, Luisa Bernal, DressLab

2007 Represent Interview: Billie Zangewa, Represent

2007 Billie Zangewa, Alarm Magazine