b. 1983, Benoni, South Africa

Lives and works in Johannesburg

Mongezi Ncaphayi was born in 1983 in Benoni in Eastern Gauteng, South Africa, where he currently lives and works. Following his graduation with a Diploma in Art and Design from the Ekurhuleni East College-Benoni in 2005, Ncaphayi completed a Professional Printmaking Course at Artist Proof Studio in 2008. In 2012, Ncaphayi obtained a Certificate in Advanced Studies from School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA. Notably, in 2013, Ncaphayi was the recipient of the prestigious Absa L’atelier Gerard Sekoto Award, earning him a three-month residency at the Cite Des Arts in Paris, France. In 2011, Ncaphayi received the Ampersand Foundation Fellowship in New York City, USA, while, in 2016, he was awarded a grant from the Prince Claus Fund Grant in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Selected artist-in-residency programmes include: The Atelier le Grand Village Residency in Angouleme, France, in 2014 and the Thami Mnyele Foundation Residency in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2016.

In 2019, Ncaphayi was the recipient of the Africa First Art Prize, leading to a residency in Israel which will culminate in a solo presentation of new work at the 2020 Investec Cape Town Art Fair. Notable exhibitions include Filling in the Gaps and Print Promises, both at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. In the same year, Ncaphayi presented his solo exhibition Of the seeking or the finding, at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa. SMAC Gallery recently presented his new body of works at ART X Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria.

In 2016, Ncaphayi presented his inaugural solo exhibition, Spirit’s Response, as the 2013 Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award-winner, which debuted at the ABSA Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa. The exhibition travelled to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Spin Street Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; Alliance Française, Pretoria, South Africa; and the KwaZulu Natal Society of the Arts (KZNSA), Durban, South Africa. Ncaphayi has since presented three solo exhibitions with SMAC Gallery: Journey to the One in 2016 at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg; and Which Way is East? in 2017 – a large scale exhibition that first showed at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, and was recreated for an installation at The Vault exhibition space in The Silo District, Cape Town, South Africa.

Selected group exhibitions include: That Was Then at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town; The Ampersand Foundation Award 21 years Celebration Exhibition, curated by Gordon Froud at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) in Johannesburg, South Africa; SMAC Gallery’s group presentation at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair and FNB Art Joburg at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2019; African Amicitiae at the Arti et Amicitiae Society in association with the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Amsterdam, Netherlands; the 10th World Triennial of Printmaking in Chamalieres, France; and A Change in the Narrative: ABSA L’Atelier Winners Exhibition, Absa Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, all in 2017; the 8th International Printmaking Biennale Douro at the Museu do Douro, Peso da Regua, Portugal; and The Art of Humanity at the Rubell and Norman Schafler Gallery, Pratt Institute, New York City, USA, both in 2016; Map of the New Art at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Italy; Back to the Future II: Abstract Art in South Africa – Past & Present at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa; and Imago Mundi: The Art of Humanity at the Museo Carlo Bilotti in Rome, Italy, all in 2015. Ncaphayi’s work was included in Trans-Atlantic Fun-O-Pack: Print Exchange at the Edinburgh College of Arts in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2012, as well as Reclaiming Lives at the Boston Arts Academy in Boston, USA, in 2009.

Ncaphayi’s work is included in a number of important collections, including: Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), Manchester, USA; School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), Boston, USA; Thami Mnyele Foundation, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Paris, France; The Ampersand Foundation (TAF), London, UK; ABSA Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; Luciano Benetton Foundation, Treviso, Italy.

Ncaphayi has been selected as one of the artists to feature in the upcoming Stellenbosch Triennale titled Tomorrow there will be more of us. The Triennale runs from 11 February to 30 April 2020.

Ncaphayi’s work was recently included in SMAC Gallery’s presentation at ART X Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Citizen | Benoni artist wins top prize at Investec Cape Town Art Fair21 February 2019 – PDF

Sesona Ngqakamba | News24 | ‘Words cannot tell how it feels’ – Gauteng artist wins top prize at Investec Cape Town Art Fair | 18 February 2019

Samuel Reilly | Apollo | What not to miss at 1-54 in London | 3 October 2018 – PDF

Creative Feel | Mongezi Ncaphayi’s musically inspired ‘visual compositions’ solo exhibition | 4 February 2016 – PDF

ArtAfrica | ARTsouthAFRICA in conversation with Mongezi Ncaphayi | 13 August 2015 – PDF

Matthew Krouse | Mail & Guardian | Mongezi Ncaphayi: Striking art is his raison d’être | 26 July 2013 – PDF