Musa N. Nxumalo

b. 1986, Soweto
Lives and works in Soweto, South Africa

Musa N. Nxumalo received his introduction to photography at the Market Photo Workshop with Sabelo Mlangeni and the late Thabiso Sekgala, who together are often associated with the new generation of contemporary South African photographers. Nxumalo completed the Foundation and Intermediate Courses at Market Photo Workshop between 2006 and 2008, and has since participated in several workshops and master classes. In 2015, he was nominated for the prestigious First Book Award. Other awards include the Edward Ruiz Mentorship in 2008, 2nd Prize for the MTN CITY Festival in 2009 and 1st prize in Visual Art for the Impact Awards in 2010.

In 2020, Nxumalo has been selected to participate in NIRIN, the 22nd Sydney Biennale curated by Brook Andrews, in Sydney, Australia. Nxumalo’s work was recently included in SMAC Gallery’s presentation at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London as well as the group exhibition Crossing Night: Regional Identities x Global Context at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, USA in late 2019.

Further notable exhibitions include: Africa State of Mind at the Impressions Gallery in the Bradford, UK before traveling to the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco, USA and the Royal West England Academy in Bristol, UK;  Night Fever: Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today at Adam – the Brussels Design Museum in Brussels, Belgium, all in 2019. In 2018, Nxumalo was selected to take part in the 11th edition of Rencontres de Bamako, entitled Afrotopia, curated by Marie-Ann Yemsi, in Bamako, Mali; Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, France, in 2017; Peregrinate, which has been shown across the African continent including in Lagos, Abidjan, Bamako and Nairobi, in 2015 and 2016; Next Generation at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College in New York, in 2015; Urban Scenographies as part of the By Night Festival in Saint-Denis, Reunion, where he was a resident artist; Space Between Us in Germany; My Joburg at Maison Rouge Gallery in Paris, all in 2013; and For Those Who Live In It in the Netherlands in 2010.

In the period between 2008 and 2016, Nxumalo produced two bodies of work for which he has received critical recognition – Alternative Kidz (2009) and In/Glorious (2012), which later formed part of his 2015 solo exhibition, In Search Of… shown first at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and thereafter the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nxumalo has since presented a second solo exhibition, titled 16 Shots, at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg in 2017. Nxumalo’s project, titled The Anthology of Youth (2016), which was shown in part at SMAC Gallery’s Contemporary Booth at the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2016 and in UPSTART/STARTUP at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg. In 2018, he exhibited 16 Shots, a selection from The Anthology of Youth at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg. Nxumalo’s ongoing project, titled The Anthology of Youth, was first debuted at SMAC Gallery’s presentation for the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2016.

Selected collections include the IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, the Pigozzi Collection in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Royal Portfolio Collection, South Africa.

Nxumalo will be one of the 33 artists, creatives and collectives who will participate in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), titled NIRIN. The exhibition will run from, 14 March to 8 June 2020 at the Art Gallery of NSW, Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the National Art School in Sydney.

Nxumalo has been selected to participate in Crossing Night: Regional Identities x Global Context, opening on October 25th at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, USA. The exhibition will run until January 19th, 2020.

Nxumalo’s work was recently included in SMAC Gallery’s group presentation at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House in London, UK.

16 Shots | SMAC Gallery | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2017

In Search Of… | SMAC Gallery | Stellenbosch, South Africa | 2015

Musa Nxumalo | Afronova Gallery | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2011

Alternative-Kidz | National School Of Arts (NSA) |Market Photo Workshop | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2010

Alternative-Kidz | Market Photo Workshop | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2009

[upcoming] NIRIN | 22nd Biennale of Sydney | Art Gallery of NSW; Artspace; Campbelltown Arts Centre;  Cockatoo Island;  Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; The National Art School |  Sydney, Australia | 2020

[upcoming] Crossing Night: Regional Identities x Global Context| Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit | Detroit, USA | 2019

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Somerset House | London, UK | 2019

Africa State of Mind | Museum of African Diaspora | San Francisco, USA | 2019

Urban Gaze | Keyes Art Mile Atrium | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2019

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today | Adam – Brussels Design Museum | Brussels, Belgium | 2019

Africa State of Mind | New Art Exchange | Nottingham, UK | 2019

FNB Joburg Art Fair (Bad Paper) | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2018

Platform Africa, Apeture Summer Issue Launch | 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair | New York City, USA | 2017

Être là, South Africa, a contemporary art scene, Art/Afrique, le novel atelier  | Louis Vuitton Foundation | Paris, France | 2017

Perigrinate | The Goethe Institut | Yaounde, Cameroon | Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo | 2017

On Fire: Notions of Community in Post-Apartheid South Africa | Grimmuseum | Berlin, Germany | 2016

Peregrinate | Goethe-Institut | Cote D’Ivoire | 2016

Next Generation: Emerging Photographers from South Africa | Queens College | New York City, USA |2016

Close to Home: New Photography from Africa | The Walther Collection – Project Space | New York City, USA | 2016

Perigrinate | The Goethe Institut | Nairobi, Kenya | Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) | Lagos, Nigeria | 2016

FNB Joburg Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2016

Upstart/Startup | SMAC Gallery | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2016 

Cape Town Art Fair | Cape Town Convention Centre | Cape Town, South Africa | 2015

Tamar Shafrir | Pin-Up Magazine | Machines for Dancing: Club Design and the Evolution of Desire, Seduction, and Utopia | 28 June 2019 – PDF

Diane Smyth | British Journal of Photography | A new wave of photographers in Africa State of Mind | 28 September 2018 – PDF

Tymon Smith | Sunday Times | Photographer documents SA’s youth carving out their own anti-born-free identities | 18 April 2017 – PDF

Omar Nasir | Dazed Digital | The photos celebrating urban youth culture in Johannesburg | 27 January 2016 – PDF

The New York Times | Forging their own scene | 26 April 2015 – PDF

Catherine Rudolph | Between 10 and 5 | Featured: Photographer Musa Nxumalo In Search Of… | 24 March 2015 – PDF

Ivor Powell | Weekend Argus | Something is stirring in Africa’s art world | 15 February 2015 – PDF