WALLEN MAPONDERA

b. 1985, Harare, Zimbabwe

Lives and works in Grahamstown, South Africa

Wallen Mapondera received formal art training from Zimbabwe’s National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design from 2005 to 2007. Mapondera is currently completing his Masters degree in Fine Art from Rhodes University in Makhanda, South Africa. In 2015, he was the recipient of Zimbabwe’s prestigious National Arts Merit Award – in the Visual Arts Two-Dimensional Work category – given by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in recognition of outstanding achievements in arts and culture.

In 2007 Mapondera was selected for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Artist- in -Residence Programme hosted at the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design Studios in, Harare, Zimbabwe. Mapondera has since been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, Burlington in Vermont, USA in 2012; and Pro Helvetia Studio in Zurich, Switzerland in 2018. In 2020 he will take part in the  Art Dubai Artist-in-Residence Programme culminating in a solo presentation with SMAC Gallery at Art Dubai in Dubai, UAE.

Mapondera has held multiple solo shows and participated in various local and international art fairs and group exhibitions. In 2020 his work will form part of Matereality, a group exhibition at Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. Mapondera’s Masters Exhibition Chirema Chine Mazano recently opened at Rhodes University in Makhanda, South Africa in 2019 showcasing his most recent body of work. Earlier this year he presented his solo exhibition, Moving Target at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa as well as a solo presentation with Tyburn Gallery at Atelier Mondial in Basel, Switzerland. Earlier solo shows include Emergency Exit at Tyburn Gallery in London, UK and Samusha weiri Dongo at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa both in 2018 and Tsananguro | Clarifications at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa in 2017.

Recent Art Fairs include Artissima in Turin, Italy; 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair London in Somerset House, London, UK; FNB Art Joburg at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa and the Investec Cape Town Art Fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa all in 2019 and UNTITLED, Art at Miami Beach in Miami, USA in 2018.

Notable group exhibitions include: Five Bhobh: Painting at the End of an Era at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018;  Familiar Histories: An Unstoppable Force in Contemporary Art Discourse, curated by Raphael Chikukwa, at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2017; X: Part III and Nothing Personal both at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2017 and 2016 respectively; Suddenly A Dissident (by Guns and Rain) at the Point of Order Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016; Between the Sheets at Gallery East in Fremantle, Australia in 2012; Colour Africa, Zeitgenössische Kunst Aus Simbabwe at Kulturallmende gUG in Munich, Germany in 2011; as well as African Expressions at the University of Avignon in Avignon, France in 2010. Mapondera has also participated in multiple group exhibitions in Zimbabwe since 2006.

Selected collections include The National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe; Spier Art Collection, Stellenbosch, South Africa and the Tiroche Deleon Collection, Tel Aviv, Israel. 

In 2019, Mapondera completed his Masters in Fine Art at Rhodes University, South Africa, culminating in a solo exhibition titled Chirema Chine Mazano. Other notable exhibitions include in Five Bhobh: Painting at the End of an Era, a group exhibition of contemporary painting from Zimbabwe, curated by Tandazani Dhlakama,  at the Zietz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa.

Mapondera will take part in the 2020 Art Dubai artist in residence programme culminating in a solo presentation with SMAC Gallery at the 14th edition of Art Dubai. The fair takes place March 25-28, 2020, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

Mapondera’s work will be included in Matereality, an upcoming group exhibition at Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa in 2020.

Nkgopoleng Moloi | Mail & Guardian | ‘Five Bhobh’ is a taxi to the end of an era | 23 November 2018 – PDF

Cheri Morris | VISI | ARTISTS WE LOVE: WALLEN MAPONDERA | 13 March 2018 – PDF

Stephen Garan’anga | The Herald | Artists light up Gallery Delta | 24 June 2016 – PDF