The Friends of S.M.A.K. present Neo Matloga

Neo Matloga Modjadji o stout 2020

In the exhibition at De Vereniging Neo Matloga presents a selection of recent works not yet shown in Europe.

Neo Marloga Motho waka 2020

Matloga was born in 1993 in Mamaila, Limpopo, South Africa, and is currently based between Mamaila and Amsterdam. He studied Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg, and completed a residency at De Ateliers, Amsterdam, with a focus on painting. Matloga won the 2018 Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst and recently, in 2021, was awarded the ABN AMRO Kunstprijs.

A solo exhibition, Neo to Love, took place at the Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, in 2019 and his most recent solo presentation, in 2020 at Stevenson Gallery in Johannesburg, was titled Back of the Moon.

London based art critic Tom Morton said about Matloga's work:

"Although the subject matter of Neo Matloga’s canvases is domestic - daily life in black households in the artist’s native South Africa - they often have the epic scale of 19th century history paintings. Like his use of primarily black, white and grey palette, or the way he titles most of his works in his mother tongue, Sepedi, this decision is not without its political connotations, or its ambiguities. With their enamel tableware and crocheted tablecloths, his interiors are ordinary spaces, no more exotic than a suburban American home, although - to a global audience, at least - they are considerably less familiar from movies and TV. On these vast, charcoal and ink wash stages, Matloga’s cast of characters play out every-day dramas, experiencing all the struggles and consolations of desire and intimacy. Above all, the people in his canvases are as he says, ‘moral agents’, however much socio-economic and political conditions shape life outside (and, indeed, inside) the four walls of their homes. (...)"

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