Mohau Modisakeng

Mohau Modisakeng uses his body to explore the influence of South Africa’s violent history on how we understand our cultural, political and social roles as human beings. Represented through film, large-scale photographic prints, installations and performance, Modisakeng’s work responds to the history of the black body within the (South) African context, which is inseparably  intertwined with the violence of the Apartheid era and the early 1990s. His images are not direct representations of violence, but powerful yet poetic invocations where the body is transformed into a poignant marker of collective memory.

Mohau Modisakeng was born in Soweto in 1986 and lives and works between Johannesburg and Cape Town. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town in 2009 and worked towards his Masters degree at the same institution. His work has been exhibited at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town (2017); PERFORMA17, New York (2017); IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2014); Saatchi Gallery, London (2012); and the Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar (2012). Public Collections include the Johannesburg Art Gallery, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, the From Cobra to Contemporary Collection, EKARD Collection, Dommering collection, and Zeitz MOCAA.

Modisakeng has been awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art in 2016. As part of a two-person exhibition, Modisakeng also represented South Africa at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017).


CV - Mohau Modisakeng




2009     Fine Art Undergraduate degree and Master´s degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. Cape Town, South Africa.


Solo shows


2017     Zion. Performa17. New York, USA.

2017     Passage- WHATIFTHEWORLD. Cape Town, South Africa.

2017     Lefa la Ntate. Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, University of the Free State. Free State, South Africa.

2017     Lefa la Ntate. Tatham Art Gallery. Pietermarizburg, South Africa.
2017     Lefa la Ntate. Standard Bank Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa.

2016     ENDABENI. Galerie Ron Mandos. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2016     Bophirima. Tyburn Gallery. London, UK.

2016     Mohau Modisakeng. Laumeier Sculpture Park. Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.
2016     Lefe La Ntate. Monument Gallery. Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Grahamstown, South Africa.

2016     Lefa La Ntate, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
2016     Lefa La Ntate. IZIKO South African National Gallery. Cape Town, South Africa.
2016     Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center. Laumeier Sculpture Park. St Louis, USA.  
2015     Ke Kgomo Ya Moshate. Kunstrum. Innsbruck, Austria.
2015     Mohau Modisakeng. Big Pond Artworks. Munich, Germany.

2014     Loop Barcelona. Hotel Catalonia Ramblas. Barcelona. Spain.

2014     VOLTA NY, BRUNDYN+. New York, USA.

2014     Ditaola, BRUNDYN+. Cape Town, South Africa.
2014     Mohau Modisakeng. Chavonnes Battery Museum. Cape Town, South Africa,  (in partnership with Zeitz MOCAA).
2013     Inzilo. Video Art Powered by Samsung Special Project. FNB Joburg Art Fair. Johannesburg, South Africa.
2012     Sera. Master of Fine Art Exhibition. Michaelis School of Fine Art. Cape Town, South Africa.
2012     VOLTA NY, BRUNDYN +. New York, USA.
2012     Untitled, A solo exhibition in recognition of his Sasol New Signatures Award for 2011. Pretoria Art Museum. Pretoria, South Africa.
2010     Ibutho. Side Gallery, Stevenson Gallery. Cape Town, South Africa.
2009     Ugufa Unezindaba, Graduate Exhibition. Michaelis School of Fine Art. Cape Town, South Africa.


Group shows



2017     EX AFRICA. Belo Horizonte. Brasília. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.   
2017     Le Jour Qui Vient. Galerie des Galeries. Paris, France.                             
2017     Another Antipodes Exhibition: Urban Axis. PS Art Space. Fremantle WA, Australia.                                                                                                               
2017     The 57th Venice Biennale - The South African Pavilion. Sale d’Armi. Arsenale. Venice, Italy.                                                                                             
2016     Fünf Seen Film Festival. Starnberg, Germany.                                                  
2016     Re(as)sisting Narratives. Framer Framed. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  
2016     Prefer Life. Reydan Weiss Collection. The Weserburg. Bremen, Germany.
2016     62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Oberhausen, Germany.
2016     When Tomorrow Comes. Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg / Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town, South Africa.
2016     After the Thrill is Gone. Gwen Frostic School of Art. Michigan, USA.             
2016     Negative Space - WHATIFTHEWORLD. Cape Town, South Africa.                
2016     Lagos Photo Festival. Lagos, Nigeria.                                                            
2015     AFIRIperFOMA. Lagos, Nigeria.
2015     DIS/PLACE, MoCADA. Brooklyn, New York, USA.                                          
2015     Broken English. Tyburn Gallery. London, UK.

2015     What Remains is Tomorrow. South African Pavilion, Venice Bienniale. Venice, Italy.                              2015     La Fabrique De L'Homme Moderne, in resonance with Lyon Biennale, La Fabric, Solomon Foundation for Contemporary Art, Annecy. France.                       

2015     Foreign Bodies - WHATIFTHEWORLD. Cape Town, South Africa.             
2014     Brave New World…20 Years of Democracy. IZIKO South African National Gallery. Cape Town, South Africa.                                                                              
2014     !Kauru 2014: Rerouting Dialogue 1994- 2014. UNISA Gallery. Pretoria, South Africa.                                                                                                                                                      
2014     Art Against the Wall: An Artist Response to Civil Wars. Gallery 72. Atlanta, Georgia, USA.                                                                                                             
2014     Fearless Renewal. MC Theatre. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.                      
2014     Anyway, the Wind Blows. BRUNDYN +. Cape Town, South Africa.                       
2014     Here Today. The Old Sorting Office. London, UK.                                         
2014     Performing Portraiture. Museum of Fine Arts. Boston, USA.                          
2013     Am I not a Man and a Brother? Am I not a Woman and a Sister. James Harris Gallery. Seattle, USA.

2013     Personal and Political. 21c Museum. Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

2013     Biennale Internationale d’Art Contemporain (BIAC). Fort de France. Martinique, France.

2013     Ceci n’est pas une Summer Show, BRUNDYN+. Cape Town, South Africa. 

2012     Out of Focus: Photography. Saatchi Gallery. London, UK.                   

2012     Exuberance Project Exhibition. Mandela Rhodes Gallery. Cape Town, South Africa.                                                                                                                           
2012     Uneveness Exhibition. National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Harare, Zimbabwe.

2012     NEWSFEED: Anonymity & Social Media in African Revolutions and Beyond. MoCADA. New York, USA.     

2012     Dak’Art Biennale. Dakar, Senegal.                                                                                    

2012     Material Representation, BRUNDYN +. Cape Town, South Africa.                  
2011     Focus 11. Basel, Switzerland.                                                                         
2011     Implemented Environments, BRUNDYN+. Cape Town, South Africa.                
2010     A RE FANON, with Lerato Bereng. Blank Projects. Cape Town, South Africa.


Art fairs


2015     Joburg Art Fair- WHATIFTHEWORLD. Sandton Convention Centre. Johannesburg, South Africa.     2015     NIROX Winter Sculpture Fair. Nirox Foundation. Johannesburg, South Africa.

2014     START Art Fair, BRUNDYN+, Saatchi Gallery. London, UK.
2014     Loop Art Fair. Silencio Club. Paris, France.                                                   
2014     FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +. Sandton Convention Centre. Johannesburg, South Africa.                                                                                     
2014    GIPCA Live Art Festival. City Hall. Cape Town, South Africa.
2013     FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +. Johannesburg, South Africa. 

2012     FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +. Johannesburg, South Africa.

2011     Business Day. FNB Joburg Art Fair. Johannesburg, South Africa.


Public collections


Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) Johannesburg Art Gallery
IZIKO South African National Gallery
Saatchi Gallery
21C Museum Hotel University of South Africa (UNISA)
New Church Museum
Piet Viljoen Collection
Wendy Fisher Emile Stipp Collection
Manuel de Santaren Salsali Private Museum
The Ekard Collection