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Nicholas Hlobo joins Lehmann Maupin

Nicholas Hlobo, one of South Africa’s leading contemporary artists, has joined Lehmann Maupin. Known for his intricate installations, Hlobo investigates issues of identity, sexuality, gender, and class in the context of his South African heritage.

Materials play a significant role in Hlobo’s multi-disciplinary practice, which includes painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, works on paper, and video installation. He prefers tactile items such as ribbon, leather, wood, and rubber, exploring the symbolic power of these raw materials and their potential for transformation.

As part of the Xhosa people, Hlobo makes work that is anchored in his South African background. The linguistic flexibility of the Xhosa language, with its poetic idioms, proverbs, and double entendres, allows the artist to discuss the various facets of his own personal identity alongside a wider cultural history.

“Nicholas Hlobo is a fantastic artist with incredible international recognition,” said Rachel Lehmann. “Like a poet, he is exploring the in between places that are difficult to define - such as the area between male and female, between white, gray, and black. The themes he addresses of nationality, race, gender, sexuality, and identity are all strongly engaged with Lehmann Maupin’s programing and have ties to the work of Kader Attia, Robin Rhode, Mickalene Thomas, and Adriana Varejão.”

The artist’s first show with Lehmann Maupin is scheduled for 2016 in New York.