Winner of the FNB Art Prize in 2015 and alumni of the prestigious Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Magadlela makes sculptures that want to be paintings. Working with culturally loaded fabrics – from silk stockings to traditional cloth and prison uniforms – Magadlela presents her minimally reworked material in familiar rectangular and square canvas formats. [She] continues her allusive exploration of social history through the production of autonomous works in her distinctive personal grammar.
– Sean O Toole, ’10 Young African Artists You Should Know’, artsy.net
Following her award-winning exhibition at the FNB Joburg Art Fair, Turiya Magadlela will be showing a new body of work in her second solo exhibition at blank projects. Impilo ka Lova comprises several new wall-based works and a site specific installation. The new series has clear links to earlier works from her Everybody knows Ufeela series, in which she first began stretching laddered and torn stockings across wooden frames. Over time the process of stretching nylon pantyhose evolved into stitching planes of fabric that are folded and quilted together in monochromatic flesh-coloured colour fields of beige, brown and black across the picture frame.
In this latest series, Magadlela moves into exploring colour – bold pink, red and orange hues move across the picture plane. Though the works are abstract, Magadlela’s use of pantyhose loads them with the weight of experience and memory, laying a thread that leads outside of the white cube. It is a material imbued with notions of discreet femininity, while under the surface, lines of stretched crotch seams add to the erotic, visceral quality of the work. Each hole, exposed thread and seam is a carefully considered element, and the abstract compositions are double-edged; suggestive of sexual intimacy and violence, they are at the same time aesthetically seductive plays with colour, line and form.
Turiya Magadlela (b.1978, Johannesburg) studied at the Funda Community College under Charles Nkosi, the University of Johannesburg, and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. The 2015 recipient of the FNB Art Prize, Magadlela has held solo exhibitions at Johannesburg Art Gallery (2015), blank projects (2012), Museum Africa and the Goethe Institut (as part of her JAG/Goethe Institute Young Artist Award 2003). Select group exhibitions include The Poetry In Between: South-South (Goodman Gallery Cape Town, 2014), Half-devil and half-child (blank projects, Cape Town, 2014), When Form Becomes Attitude (blank projects, Cape Town, 2012) and The Grote Oversteek (Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands, 2006). Magadlela lives and works in Soweto, South Africa.