b. 1989, Cape Town, South Africa.

Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

Marlene Steyn was born in 1989 in Cape Town, South Africa, where she currently lives and works. She obtained her Master of Fine Art degree in 2014 from the Royal College of Art in London, UK.

Most recently, Steyn’s solo exhibition, Unbuttoning my belly, at Lychee One in London, UK opened on 17 May and will run until 30 June 2019. Steyn will also be participating in a residency in 2020 at Sundaymorning@ekwc in Oisterwijk, Netherlands. Steyn also exhibited with SMAC Gallery at the 2019 Investec Cape Town Art Fair in Cape Town, South Africa, earlier this year.

In 2018, Steyn presented a solo exhibition at Miart in Fiera Milano City, Italy in April 2018; and participated in a two-month collaborative residency with Kay 16 and Artport Residency in Tel Aviv, Israel. The residency culminated in September 2018, in an exhibition produced with the support of: Kay 16 – Community Gallery for Contemporary Art; Ministry of Culture Israel; Mifal HaPais; Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts; ArtPort; Beit Benyamini Ceramics Centre; and Maccabee Beer. Steyn’s work was also exhibited in Garden Smoothie – a two person exhibition with Gabrielle Kruger at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch; as well as group show, Paper Cuts, at the Saatchi Gallery in London UK; and Bone Memory at Lychee One in London, UK.

Most notably, Steyn has presented a number of critically acclaimed solo exhibitions, including: How Cannibals Cuddle at Cabin Gallery in London, in 2014; Mad Love at Lychee One in London and The End is Located Underneath Her Third Armpit (if the muscle is flexed) in Cape Town, both in 2015; as well as Your Skin Is Not The Best Hiding Place at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town; and You Can’t Cry When Your Head is Underwater at Lychee One, London, both in 2016; Knot I : I Knotat SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2017, as well as Shouty Insides at Galerie DYS in Brussels, Belgium in 2018.

Recent group exhibitions include: Faces & Other Scenarios, a two-person show at Galerie d’Ys in Brussels, Belgium; New Monuments at Commune.1, Cape Town, South Africa; Paper, publication, performance at Lychee One, London, UK; Inside Out at Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, UK; and Across the Divide at Rosenfeld Porcini in London, UK, all in 2016; Where They Hum (a three women show with Rose Wylie and Freya Douglas-Morris) at Lychee One, London, UK; Another Antipodes, at Urban Axis – PS Art Space in Fremantle, Australia; the FNB Joburg Art Fair; 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair both with SMAC Gallery in 2017 and her recent group presentation with SMAC Gallery at the 2018 Investec Cape Town Art Fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa.

Marlene Steyn’s work features in numerous public and private collections including the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), which was featured at the museum’s inaugural exhibition in 2017.


Steyn is looking forward to a an upcoming residency in the year 2020 at  Sundaymorning@ekwc in Oisterwijk, Netherlands.  Sundaymorning@ekwc is an international workplace where artists, designers and architects explore the technical and artistic possibilities of ceramics.


Steyn’s solo exhibition, entitled Unbuttoning my belly, at Lychee One in London, UK is currently up on show. The exhibition opened on 17 May and will run until 30 June 2019.

Naomi Rea | Artnet | Here Are 7 Standout Artists to Discover at miart 2018 | 13 April 2018 – PDF

Prakash Naidoo | Financial Mail | Solo exhibition by Marlene Steyn | 26 October 2017 – PDF

Laura Connelly | Creative Boom | Vitamin C: Clay and ceramic in contemporary art from today’s most important visual artists | 2 October 2017 – PDF

Sean O’Toole | Sunday Times | Marlene Steyn is proving to be an artist worth watching 24 October 2017 – PDF

Kurt Snoekx | BRUZZ | Marlene Steyn: Pretzel Perfect | 11 March 2018 – PDF

Danny Shorkend | Cape Times | Playful, Sinister Metaphors | 23 August 2016 – PDF

Emily Steer | Elephant | Marlene Steyn: Your Skin Is Not The Best Hiding Place | 8 August 2016 – PDF

Roxy Kawitzky | adjective | Runny yolks and Running Jokes | 5 September 2016 – PDF