Artist Biographies

Jane Alexander (1959–) was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She obtained an MAFA from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1988. Select exhibitions include: Venice Biennale (1995); ‘The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945–1994’ (2001); ‘Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent’ (2004); Gwangju Biennale (2014).

Lina Bo Bardi (1914–92) was born in Rome, Italy. She obtained an architecture degree from the University of Rome in 1939 and shortly thereafter moved to Brazil, where she spent most of her life. Select exhibitions include: Venice Architecture Biennale (2009); ‘Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat’, MASP Museum, São Paulo (2019); ‘Lina Bo Bardi: Together’ organised by the British Council and the Lina Bo and P.M. Bardi Foundation, exhibited in London (2012), Chicago (2015) and São Paulo (2016); ‘Lina Bo Bardi Dibuja’ at Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona (2019).

Lygia Clark (1920–88) was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. She studied with Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, and then with Isaac Dobrinsky, Fernand Léger and Árpád Szenes in Paris from 1950 to 1952. Select exhibitions include: São Paulo Biennale (1959); Venice Biennale (1960); Documenta (1997); ‘Tropicália: a Revolution in Brazilian Culture’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2005); ‘Lygia Clark: the Abandonment of Art 1948–1988’, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014).

Kamala Ibrahim Ishag (1939–) was born in Omdurman, Sudan. She graduated from the College of Fine Arts Khartoum (1963) and the Royal College of Art, London (1966). Select exhibitions include: Whitechapel Art Gallery (1995); National Museum of Women in Art, Washington DC (1994);  ‘Women in Crystal Cubes’, Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces (2016).

Kapwani Kiwanga (1978–) was born in Hamilton, Canada. She studied anthropology and comparative religion at McGill University. She was the winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize (2020) and the inaugural winner of the Frieze Artist Award (2018). She has been on group exhibitions at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, as well as the Whitechapel and Serpentine Sackler galleries in London, and held a solo exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center (2019).

Ana Mendieta (1948–85) was born in Havana, Cuba. When she was twelve she and her sister were sent to live in the USA as refugees. She obtained an MFA from the University of Iowa in 1977. Select exhibitions include: ‘Ana Mendieta: A Retrospective, New Museum, New York (1987); ‘Ana Mendieta: Earth, Body, Sculpture and Performance 1972–1985’, Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (2004); ‘Ana Mendieta’, Art Institute of Chicago (2011); ‘Ana Mendieta: Covered in Time and History’, Jeu de Paume, Paris (2018).

Lygia Pape (1927–2004) was born in Nova Friburgo, Brazil. She received informal training in fine arts and studied with Faye Ostrower at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro. Select exhibitions include: Venice Biennale (2003); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2004); ‘Lygia Pape: Magnetized Space’, Serpentine Galleries, London (2011); ‘Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms’, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2017).

Berni Searle (1964–) was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She received her MFA from the University of Cape Town (1995). Select exhibitions include: ‘Approach’, Krannert Museum, Champaign, Illinois, Johannesburg Art Gallery and USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, Florida (2006–7); Dak’Art (2012); Havana Biennale (2012); Venice Biennale (2001, 2005); Cairo Biennale (1998); Johannesburg Biennale (1997).

Sumayya Vally/Counterspace (2015–) is an interdisciplinary architectural studio led by Sumayya Vally. Through her design, research and pedagogical practice, Vally is committed to finding expression for hybrid identities and contested territories. Johannesburg serves as her laboratory for finding speculative histories, futures, archaeologies and design languages, and for revealing the invisible. Her work is often forensic, and draws on performance, the supernatural, the wayward and the overlooked as generative places of history and work. She is based between Johannesburg and London and is the lead designer for the Serpentine Pavilion.