Lives & Works in Died in 2011 in Matosinhos, Portugal
Malangatana Ngwenya was a prominent figure in Mozambique, he played an important role in (re)imagining a broader Africanist aesthetic in Europe and America. His work was intimately connected with his politics and reflected the socio-political conditions of Mozambique, both during the independence struggle and during the civil war (1977–92).
Ngwenya joined the Mozambique liberation movement (FRELIMO) in 1964. The same year he was imprisoned for eighteen months by the Portuguese secret police for his involvement. The period between his release and 1971, when he was awarded a grant from the Lisbon-based Gulbenkian Foundation to study printmaking and ceramics in Portugal, was an important one for his art. During this time he continued to depict the tragic consequences of war, including violence, hunger, and death. He was prolific in his output, holding numerous exhibitions in Mozambique and accepting commissions to paint large-scale murals. After independence, Ngwenya became more politically active and his artistic production declined between 1974 and 1978.
Malangatana Ngwenya will be presented by Richard Saltoun Gallery.